Arsene Wenger has revealed that he believes that new Arsenal signing Takuma Asano has some rare qualities as a striker.
The Japanese striker joined from Sanfrecce Hiroshima this summer, but on failing to obtain a work permit, has already been sent out on loan.
Asano has joined German second tier side Stuttgart as he looks to raise his profile in Europe, while getting some much needed first-team experience also.
Wenger is adamant that he bought wisely however, and sees some rare qualities in his new signing.
He said: “What I see in him is the quality of his runs, his pace, his body strength and he is quite aggressive.
“You do not find many players today who go behind the defenders at every opportunity.
“I’m personally a strong believer in him, because by coincidence after I bought him I met the national coach of Japan and he is absolutely convinced about him,” the Frenchman added.
Asano is expected to be granted a full work permit in the near future however, having made seven appearances for the senior Japan team over the past two years, and is expected to play more heavily (he is required to have played in 75% of his countries appearances to earn a work permit without the need to appeal).
It will be exciting to see how well Asano can improve in Germany as the season goes on, and even better when he finally gets his chance to join up with our first team squad.
With Wenger rating Asano so highly, he may not have moved to bring in Deportivo’s Lucas Perez this summer if the Japanese international had obtained his work permit. So in that sense I’m glad Asano was refused his work permit, as we needed a proven goalscorer this season.
Will Asano live up to the potential that Wenger can see? Will he even get his chance in our first-team squad if the Frenchman leaves next summer?