Arsenal have confirmed on their official website that they have agreed a ‘deal in principle’ to sign young Japanese forward Takuma Asano from Sanfrecce Hiroshima (via Arsenal.com).
The Gunners had been known to have approached the 21-year-old, with reports suggesting he could be Arsenal’s first attacking signing after the north London club announced midfield general Granit Xhaka last month.
Takuma has attracted interest from a variety of top clubs, but given Arsene Wenger’s personal interest in the J-League, the Frenchman moved quickly to acquire the highly rated forward.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger said:
“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.”
The youngster has 11 goals in 56 appearances for J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima, and was named ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2015.
Although the numbers are hardly anything to get excited by, Takuma made his senior international debut last year in August and has five caps to his name.
Arsenal fans will get a chance to see him in action this summer as he lines up for Japan’s Olympics side in August, however question marks remain over his work permit situation.
Takuma obviously has something about him, but surely this is a diamond in the rough signing and we can expect a big name forward to still come in this summer. It is likely the 21-year-old will be sent on loan unless he secures a special talent visa summer. With a nickname like ‘The Jaguar’, surely they’ll hand over a work permit in flash..right?
Welcome to Arsenal (subject to regulatory processes) Takuma!