It’s fair to say that Ju Young Park’s transfer to Arsenal has been one of the more curious of Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal. Stolen from under the noses of French champions Lille, the South Korean signed from Monaco on deadline day, but has barely featured since, despite the boss promising we’d see more from the striker as the season progressed.
Initially understood to have signed on a short two year contract due to the prospect of him returning home to undertake a spell of military service, it has since been revealed that the attacker secured a ten year delay on such duties thereby securing his ‘freedom’ until 2022.
In a press release Ju Young Park has now confirmed that he had actually got word of the decade-long exemption the day before he signed for the Gunners.
“I asked the Military Manpower Administration in early August last year to grant me an extension of overseas stay permit. The permit was granted on Aug. 29,” reads a statement released by Park on Friday.
The next obvious question is how has this taken so long to come to light? Claiming Monaco have been the driving force behind the silence his lawyer Lee Sung-hee explains:
“In 2009, the Monaco royal household agency granted Park an unprecedented 10-year residence permit in recognition of his outstanding activities there. We found out through a legal counsel last July that it’s possible to delay military service based on a long-term overseas residence permit.
“Additional negotiations about his transfer fee between Arsenal and AS Monaco only concluded recently, and AS Monaco asked us to make it public after the negotiations came to an end.”
Given that we’re now in mid-March, seven months after Park put pen-to-paper on a deal at the Emirates, you have to wonder what these ‘negotiations’ entail. Surely a fee must have been agreed at the time, and if not what exactly were the original terms?
Furthermore, have these behind the scenes talks had an impact on Park’s first team opportunities? At the moment it is not clear, although you can’t help but think someone will ask the question of the boss soon…