Asano will not play for Arsenal this season!
You may remember the shock on people’s faces when Arsenal confirmed that their second signing of the summer was going to be a striker, only for the player to turn out to be the unknown Takuma Asano. In fact I’m sure many people still wonder who he is now, however at the same time you may recall United were close to confirming Zlatlan Ibrahimovic.
Whilst United got the striker they craved, Arsenal are still without a new top quality striker up front and it looks ever more likely that it will be another season of Giroud, an injured Welbeck and a second fiddle Alexis Sanchez or Theo Walcott up front. Asano however will not be in Arsene Wenger’s plans for this season, despite the manager having high hopes for his £3 million buy from Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Whilst Wenger was answering question after question about potential new faces coming to the Emirates, he was keen to point out that Asano has had his application for a work permit to play in England turned down. Wenger said: “We got the work permit turned down because he didn’t cost £15m, that’s one of the rules you have to know in England. Therefore he has to go and play somewhere else. He will play I hope France or in Germany. He’s a player who I believe highly in and I will take care of him so that he gets to the right place.”
Firstly I frankly don’t care much for Wenger’s sarcasm regarding the transfer fee for Asano. Wenger has been getting a lot of stick from fans and pundits alike for his lack of ambition in the transfer market, especially towards his supposed penny pinching when it comes to making deals. Wenger famously put that £40 million and £1 bid in for Luis Suarez whilst he was still at Liverpool and ever since then Wenger has been well recognised for trying drive a hard bargain, without much success.
Wenger seems frustrated that Asano hasn’t been granted a work permit, especially whilst no other clubs seem to be struggling with the same problem. But perhaps that’s because our rivals in the Premier League aren’t trying to strengthen their first team squads, by adding unrecognised youth talent as a viable option for leading the frontline?
Asano never was expected to play a huge role at the club this season anyway, with the Japanese striker anticipated to feature more with the Under 21’s rather than the first team. However it now seems that a loan move with have to do for Arsene Wenger and his plans for Asano, and Wenger will have to hope that he can get that offer for France or Germany that he craves for.