|Park Chu-young (Yonhap News)|
Park Chu-young’s brief stay at Celta Vigo of the Spanish Primera Liga ended on a low note after the South Korean player was fined for missing the club’s final league match, Spanish media reported Sunday.
The 28-year-old striker was fined for not showing up at a crucial home game against RCD Espanyol, in which Celta Vigo narrowly escaped relegation by defeating its opponent 1-0.
Park was not to play due to injuries but regulations required him to attend the game.
Celta Vigo got Park for the 2012-13 season on a loan from Arsenal of the U.K. Premier League, but the striker did not meet expectations, scoring only three goals in 22 games he played for the Spanish club.
Once heralded as the future of South Korean soccer, Park’s career has been spiraling since he left French AS Monaco to try his luck in Britain.
He is widely expected to be shown the door by Arsenal this off-season, having scored one goal for the team during the entire 2011-12 season. His dismal performance in Spain will not offer Arsenal much incentive to renew his contract, which expires in 2014.
Arsenal’s move of Park was motivated not only by his poor performance, but also his sizeable wage. He makes some 40,000 pounds ($62,900) a week, extremely high for a bench player considering that the team’s highest player Theo Walcott makes 90,000 pounds a week.
The team reportedly gave manager Arsene Wenger the go-ahead to sign big-name players, handing him at least 70 million pounds to spend on transfer fees. According to British media, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is one of the players Wenger is eyeing.
Wenger is expected to attempt to release several players including Park to make room for new players.
Adding insult to injury, Park also lost his spot on the South Korean national team, where he was once a key player and captain. National team manager Choi Kang-hee did not mention a specific reason for leaving Park off the roster, although the lack of chemistry between the two was cited by South Korean media.
By Yoon Min-sik