It would be fair to say that there were a lot of surprised faces after Ji-Sung Park completed a switch to QPR earlier this week. However, it now appears as though the transfer was entirely Park’s decision, with the player’s father claiming that Manchester United wanted to keep the midfielder.
Park joined the Loftus Road outfit for an initial £2.5m several days ago; with the fee having the potential to rise to £5m should various clauses be activated. With Sir Alex Ferguson supposedly a keen admirer over the 31-year-old, a lot of people were surprised that he was allowed to leave Old Trafford.
However, it has now come to light that the switch was all down to Park, with his father Park Sung-Jong claiming that his son wanted a new challenge. He said, “Although he was in good condition last season, his playing time was limited by five to six games. He wanted a new challenge at a different place. Manchester United opposed the transfer until the end, but his heart was already set and he made the decision on the transfer. He went through many situations and he may have gotten the impression that he was being treated like a player who was going to be dumped.”
It is true that Park’s opportunities had become more limited as his time at Old Trafford progressed. After joining from PSV for £4m back in 2005, Park was a regular for United and was regularly praised for his determined work-ethic. However, over the past couple of years he has come in for some criticism over his performances and this meant that he was limited to just ten top fight starts over the past campaign. Furthermore, his opportunities were likely to become more limited following the signing of fellow Asian midfielder, Shinji Kagawa.