Korea Republic midfielder Cho Won-Hee has revealed that Park Ji-Sung was the inspiration behind his move to the English Premier League with Wigan. The player, 25, has completed a move to the JJB Stadium on a two-and-a-half year deal after leaving Suwon Samsung Bluewings at the end of their season in December.
Cho had a trial spell with Monaco but was not able to join as the French club had their full quota of non-European Union players. However, he is delighted to have completed his move to the Premier League and he hopes Manchester United star Park, who has become a key member of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad at Old Trafford, will help him settle into life in northwestern England.
"When I was in the Korean League, I was watching him play in England and I had a dream to come to the Premier League after watching him," Cho said. "Watching him play was such a motivation for me. I have known him for many years playing with the national team. Since he is already playing in the Premier League and living in England, I'm sure he will be able to help me.
"Even if Park wasn't here, I would still have been eager to come because the English Premier League is one of the best in the whole world," the player insisted. "I've also met a friend from school who is studying at Manchester University and he has been helping me very much. It was such a coincidence but it made me really happy."
Cho felt the time was right to move to Europe as his contract with Bluewings wound down. "I was planning for this and I was ready to move six months ago. It was the time to move to a European League," he said. "Before I came here, I always knew that Wigan were a very well-organised team and I knew they're physically strong players."
Bruce had no hesitation in signing Cho until 2012 after just a week on trial at the JJB Stadium. And although the manager is adamant he will not rush Cho, who has not played since December, into action, the Wigan manager is confident his new player will make the transition to the Premier League.
"He'll be involved but the problem is that he'd come to the end of the season in his country which was good so that we could bring him here and see how he trained with us," Bruce said. "He ticked all the boxes and I'm sure he'll be a really good player but his last game was in mid-December so that's the decision I've got to take.
"He's trained really well but hasn't trained for the best part of two or three months so we'll make a decision about that over the next 48 hours and we've had his clearance through now," the coach concluded. "If you look at the South Korean players over the years, they've travelled quite well in different parts of Europe and I'm sure Cho can do the same for us."