In an interesting turn of events, Do Dong-Hyun and East Bengal have come to a mutual understanding in terms of the player’s departure. What seemed to be a reportedly unsolvable situation two days ago is now a thing of the past, with the club letting go of the player via a “Golden Handshake”. The details of the release were finalised yesterday in the presence of Dong and his agent.
After agreeing to the buyout, the Korean declared, “I will miss the East Bengal fans. I will never forget the two goals I scored in the Derby ( against Mohun Bagan) last year. Although I am fit, the coach ( Trevor James Morgan) doesn’t want me. If the coach doesn’t want me, there is nothing that I can do. I guess it’s a part and parcel of a professional footballer’s life.”
The entire debacle related to the 22-year-old started off was deemed excess to the requirements by Morgan, but he had already been offered a contract extension by the club management. As such, a legal war ensued between the former Korean U21 international and the officials. However, a compromise was finally reached on Tuesday night, after Dong agreed to receive 3 months’ salary in lieu of him terminating his contract.
There was relief on all fronts on Thursday after he came to the club grounds to collect his dues. However, the midfielder did have a lot to say and was evidently bitter at the manner in which he was done away with.
In his own words, the Korean said, “I talked with the coach in the last week itself. He said he liked my approach, my responsiveness and my style of play a lot. But he wants to win the I-League and hence doesn’t want me in the team. But I could not figure out why he doesn’t want me in the team if he does like my playing style. Maybe he is looking for a playmaker like David Silva, so he will reject playing even Ibrahimovic if he is offered the chance.”
Despite being a firm fan favourite for his heroics against Mohun Bagan, there were only a handful from the Red and Gold brigade to bid him farewell on the club premises. However, there was an outpouring of farewell messages and good luck wishes for the youngster on social media.
There is a possibility that Dong may return to play in Kolkata again, but that would probably be in the jersey of a Goan or a South Indian club. The cult hero signed off by saying that he would definitely like to play for East Bengal once again.
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