Ki Sung-yong is one of the most highly-rated young players in Asia. At 20, he is already a firm fixture in South Korea's side and will be at next summer's World Cup finals. However, before he enjoys a trip to South Africa he will be making himself at home in Scotland, as Celtic have won the race for his signature and he will move to Glasgow in January. Ki is fluent in English having spent a chunk of his early years in Australia, where he played his football for Brisbane-based John Paul College. After shining Down Under he accepted an offer to return to Korea with FC Seoul where his progress continued. Within 12 months Manchester United's scouts were tracking him closely and they tried, unsuccessfully, to get him on trial. 2008 saw Ki handed his debut for the South Korea national side. He has since played a major part in helping his country reach the World Cup, including a goal against North Korea in qualifying. Domestically, Ki was attracting major interest from clubs in Europe - with British sides paying particular attention. Portsmouth made a bid, but Celtic - who have an excellent record of scouting Asian talent - swooped, and Ki has agreed to follow the likes of Shunsuke Nakamura and Kiki Mizuno to Parkhead.
But what are Celtic getting for their money? The short answer is quality. Ki is a wonderfully gifted midfielder, with excellent feet. He has great close-control, which allows him to attack at speed. He is very attack-minded and has a real eye for goal. In his homeland he has been dubbed the 'Korean Steven Gerrard' and the similarities are there, although Ki is probably a bit more attack-minded and you are unlikely to see as much back-tracking from him as you do from the Liverpool captain. Ki rejected a move to England stating he wasn't yet ready for the Premier League, and this is such a refreshing attitude for a young player who clearly has desires to make it to the top. He is an immensely gifted player, who should benefit hugely from Tony Mowbray's tutelage. English clubs are sure to be keeping close tabs on his progress.