- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea has included six European-based players in its 2015 Asian Cup squad announced Monday in Seoul but there was no place for former Arsenal striker Park Chu-young.

The 23-man squad for the two-time continental champion includes in-form stars such as Son Heung-min of Bayer Leverkusen, one of four players from the Bundesliga, and Swansea City’s English Premier League midfielder Ki Seung-yeung.

Park, who left Arsenal early in 2014 and had a poor World Cup as Korea collected just one point, recently joined Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia but did not make the final cut. Injured strikers Lee Dong-gook and Kim Shin-wook have also been omitted.

Korea, looking for a first Asian Cup win since 1960, is in Group A along with host Australia, Kuwait and Oman.

“The decision not to select Park was a very difficult one,” coach Uli Stielike said. “In the end, I was worried about his lack of goals,” he added, referring to the fact that Park has scored only twice in the whole of 2014.

Stielike also decided against calling other European players. Hong Jeong-ho, defender with Augsburg in the Bundesliga, and Yun Suk-young, left back with Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League, fail to make the cut after struggling with injuries. Ji Dong-won pays the price for a lack of game time with Borussia Dortmund.

South Korea has not lifted the Asian Cup since 1960 and Stielike, appointed in September to succeed Hong Myung-bo who resigned after dismal World Cup in June, aims to change all that.

“I want to say that we will go to Australia with the target of winning the trophy.” said the former Real Madrid midfielder.

“Of course, others such as Japan and Iran will go to Australia with the same target but if we can produce their best in six games then we can survive and reach the final on January 31.”

Korea is in Group A along with host Australia, Kuwait and Oman.

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