With South Korean legend Park Ji-Sung's next move perhaps his last, Ryan McGee believes the A-League could be the perfect destination
By RYAN McGEE
After watching the amazing success story of Shinji Ono - a player who has come back from the brink to catapult Western Sydney Wanderers to the top of the A-League - one could see why it could be conceivable to bring someone Park Ji-Sung to Australia resurrect his own career.
The South Korean star is expected to leave Queens Park Rangers this European summer following their disastrous campaign in the English Premier League.
And with the Championship beckoning for QPR next season, the United States and the United Arab Emirates seem the most likely destinations.
But could the A-League be an option?
Ono moved to Australia in September and worked wonders at Western Sydney. The 33-year-old was blighted with injuries and fitness problems before arriving in the A-League, but overcame that to establish himself as one of the competition's best.
It is not only he who has tasted success in the A-League in the twilight of his career.
Seemingly unwanted after leaving Aston Villa, Emile Heskey found a home at the Newcastle Jets, scoring nine goals in his first season. Alessandro Del Piero was, of course, an unmitigated success at Sydney FC, but in truth he had far more options before choosing the A-League than both Ono and Heskey.
So why could not Park Ji-Sung do the same?
After his highly anticipated arrival to Loftus Road from Manchester United in July 2012, which many viewed as a coup, his performances have not lived up to expectations.
He had a poor season at QPR, picked up a host of injuries, and his form has inevitably suffered as a result, playing only 18 games this season.
And for a player that is renowned for his fitness levels and work ethic, his contribution has been heavily criticised.
Park's wages are also an issue. The veteran takes home £70,000 pounds a week at Rangers.
As one of several players who have not performed on huge pay packages, he will most likely be moving on at the end of the season.
And, at 32 years of age, his career has passed its peak.
He has faced the likes of Brett Emerton on the pitch before, so would a move to the A-League be a good one for the South Korean legend?
Considering that, the A-League would present an ideal opportunity to rejuvenate what has been a stuttering stage in the most successful Asian player's illustrious career, and give Australia an increased fan base throughout Asia.
His star power would dwarf even the likes of Ono, and his performances could well do the same. The intensity of Australian league itself would be considerably lighter than the high-pressured environment of the Premier League, giving Park the advantage to ease himself back in the fold.
And although he has not been at his best over the past season, it is nonsense to suggest that his talent would not be considered prized asset for any club in the A-League.
A marquee in the truest sense of the word, his arrival would not only increase the popularity of the Australian competition but give the player himself the chance of ending his prestigious career on a high.