There are growing concerns at Suwon Bluewings over the form of star striker Adam Taggart who has yet to get off the mark in his six games played in 2020.
The Socceroo finished 2019, his first season in South Korea, as the top goalscorer in the K-League, finding the target 20 times, a tally made more impressive as the Bluewings finished in the bottom half of the table.
So far this season however, Taggart has failed to score in six appearances in domestic and international competitions. Suwon have lost both games in the AFC Champions League and with just one win in the K-League so far, currently sit in eighth in the 12-team table.
Coach Lee Lim-saeng, under pressure due to the poor results and a style of football that has not endeared itself to fans of one of the two-time Asian champions, hopes that his striker can get back on track after reported big-money moves to China and the Middle East were put on the backburner due to the coronavirus crisis.
“It is true that Taggart wanted to move and this is a very natural thing for a player but it never happened,” Lee said.
“It is also true that he has had a difficult time. We are talking to him and trying to help him and he is working hard to get back to his best.”
Lee suggested that Taggart been unable to train in the month of March as he was in Australia as the coronavirus spread did not help.
There are sources close to the club who believe however that not only is Lee’s style of play not working but that the team is too reliant on the Socceroo. Suwon has scored just four goals in six competitive games so far in 2020.
There are also concerns that Taggart and new Bosnian strike partner Sulejman Krpic are too similar in style.
Suwon acknowledge privately that there is still interest from elsewhere in Asia and will not stand in the way of a transfer.
It is understood that the club will demand at least $2.3 million AUD for the 27-year-old.
Suwon’s veteran captain Yeom Ki-hun is sure that it will all come together before too long.
“Taggart is a real professional in training and on the field,” Yeom said.
“I’ve played with Australian players before such as Matthew Jurman and Terry Antonis and they were all talented and hard-working players who put the team first, they are team-mates that the Korean players can trust.”
Yeom also suggested that the reduced number of games this season, which has already been reduced from 38 to 27 and could be cut further down to 22, adds to the pressure that all are feeling.
“If there are fewer games and you make a mistake then you can fall into the relegation zone and this means that there is more pressure this year but that means we can climb the table quickly too.”