Takuma Asano is not yet an household name that Arsenal faithful’s had been hoping to join the club this simmer, as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger tries to bolster his attacking options for next season.
The Gunners are likely to loan him out for at least a season before making the first-team, fans may have to wait a while before seeing the 21-year-old Japan striker play at the Emirates.
Here are five things to know about the club’s second signing of the summer, who is not a direct replacement for England international Jamie Vardy who opted to snub the Gunners and stay at Leicester City
He is pacey, not powerful
The youngster relies on his pace to beat defenders. His height is of a disadvantage as he only measures 5-foot-6, making him quite short for a central striker.
Report from Japan indicate, he has been clocked running 50 meters in 5.9 seconds, which puts him in the same league as Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott.
Helped his J-league club win the league
He helped his club Sanfrecce Hiroshima win the J-League by scoring nine goals in 34 hames. He might just be the man to help Arsenal end their Premier League title drought. The striker in total, has scored 21 goals in 83 appearances in all competitions for the Japanese club, including four goals in five games in the domestic cup last year.
Full Japan international
His sensational club form was rewarded with his first call-up to the Japan squad just last year. He has since then earned 5 caps for the national team so far.
He is set to feature for Japan at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, and Arsenal fans can watch him play, as he is part of Japan’s provisional squad.
The youngster has already excelled at the under-23 level, scoring twice in the final of the Asian Championships this earlier this year as Japan beat South Korea 3-2.
The player is fairly seen at Arsenal as a prospect rather than the finished article.
Wenger said it all in a club statement announcing the signing,
“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.”
“If I am loaned elsewhere, my take on it is that I give it 100 percent,” he was quoted as saying by Kyodo News on Thursday after reports came out about Arsenal’s bid. “I was a little stunned [about the interest]. But I feel like I have the confidence to succeed wherever I go.”
He has a unique goal celebration
Asano has a unique goal celebration, although we’re not quite sure about this one. He’s nicknamed “The Jaguar” because of his speed, he has adopted a celebration to match the moniker , that is, holding up both hands and shaping all 10 fingers into claws after every goal he scores.