Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle to sign Japanese forward Takuma Asano from Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The 21-year-old, who made his senior international debut in 2015, has proved a big success in his homeland since making his club debut at the age of 18.
A number of clubs were after Takuma’s signature but confirmation of the agreement was announced via the Arsenal website on Sunday. Manager Arsene Wenger commented:
“Takuma is a talented young striker and very much one for the future. He has had an impressive start to his career in Japan and we look forward to him developing over the next couple of years.”
While the move is still dependent on the completion of a medical and receiving the necessary international clearance, with five international caps to his name already and a strong chance of gaining more at the Olympics in Rio, it should be a formality that the player completes the move.
Asano joined Sanfrecce Hiroshima as an 18-year-old in 2013 and has enjoyed great success with the J-League side, making 56 appearances, scoring 11 goals and playing a huge role in two J1 League-winning sides.
Arsenal fans may be concerned by the signing though as Wenger’s record of signing players from Asia is quite poor. In previous years, he has unearthed so-called “gems” in Junichi Inamoto, Ryo Miyaichi and Park Chu-Young, with none of the three made any impact at the Emirates.
Everyone at Arsenal will be hopeful the same fate does not befall this 21-year-old Japanese international.
Steven Parkhill, Pundit Arena