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Hwang Hee-chan makes case to start for Wolves against West Ham with goal for South Korea

Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan scored a goal for South Korea in their 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on Friday.

The star was lining up for his 47th cap for his country, and it didn’t take him too long to have an impact.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Hwang opening the scoring for Korea on 28 minutes, collecting the ball on the edge of the area after good work from Yun Jong-kyu and driving a low strike into the corner with his left foot.

Costa Rica got themselves back into the game before half-time through Jewisone Bennette.

Bennette then added a second just after the hour mark, before Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-min Son levelled for Korea with a superb free-kick.

It’s two in two now at international level for Hwang, after he scored a beauty against Chile back in June.

The star has been struggling at Molineux for a number of months, and this goal will have done him the world of good.

Hwang’s start to 2022/23 for Wolves has not been good.

After putting in a decent performance against Leeds United on the opening day of the season, he then struggled to follow that up.

And against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup he missed a penalty.

In the following game against Newcastle United, his shanked clearance late on fell to Allan Saint-Maximin to equalise.

Bruno Lage recently suggested that transfer speculation had perhaps affected the player.

But Hwang was good against Costa Rica.

Korea JoongAng Daily criticised the performance of the team as a collective. But they said Hwang was ‘the one noticeable exception’, and that he ‘put in a performance that belied his terrible club statistics over the past seven months’.

They also said that he ‘ran circles around the Costa Rica defence and appeared to create more opportunities than the majority of his teammates combined’.

Hwang Hee-chan makes case to start for Wolves against West Ham United after goal against Costa Rica

It is good to see Hwang enjoying a strong outing for his country, given his struggles for Wolves of late.

In recent times he has sadly looked like a player whose confidence is shot.

He’s not started for Wolves since that game against Preston, and not in the Premier League since the second match against Fulham.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

He’s been out of favour, but perhaps Lage may be tempted to get him back into the starting XI against West Ham.

His goal and performance for South Korea will hopefully have boosted his confidence, and it might be the right time to get him back in.

With Pedro Neto out of form and Diego Costa still building his fitness, it seems a reasonable moment for Lage to put his faith in the 26-year-old.