It’s no secret that Arsenal are chasing a new striker this summer, but the latest forward to be linked with the Gunners may come as a bit of a surprise.
That’s because his name is Takuma Asano, a 21-year-old Japanese international who plays in the J1 League for Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Asano has spent his whole career with his current club, and netted 14 times in all competitions last season.
Those performances have drawn attention from a number of European clubs, including German outfit Augsburg, plus Swiss duo Salzburg and Grasshoppers.
But Arsenal have made a formal offer for Asano, and it’s believed a move to the Gunners is first choice for the player.
Named J1’s Young Player of the Year last season, it’s Asano’s blistering pace and footwork that will have caught Arsene Wenger’s eye, and the Frenchman will be hoping his third Japanese signing at Arsenal is more successful than the previous two.
Junichi Inamoto played only a handful of times for the Gunners 14 years ago, while injuries hampered the potential of Ryo Miyaichy, before the youngster departed last summer.
Reports have claimed that Asano’s arrival isn’t part of Wenger’s immediate plans to return Arsenal to title-winning success, and that the forward will be loaned out elsewhere in Europe in order to gain experience.
So it appears the Gunners will continue their search for a proven goalscorer, having been linked with Islam Slimani and Gabriel Barbosa in recent weeks.
The red half of north London are 11/2 third favourites to win next season’s Premier League, having gone without a league title for 12 years.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.