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£15m move for ‘Japanese Messi’ Shoya Nakajima could be Southampton masterstroke

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£15m move for ‘Japanese Messi’ Shoya Nakajima could be Southampton masterstroke

Southampton have been linked with a £15m swoop for the Portimonense attacker.

Southampton certainly need some fresh impetus after their sluggish start to the season. The Saints are in downfall at the moment and something needs to change. With January now approaching fast, fresh faces are likely to be targeted by the club and one has reportedly been identified.

According to The Mirror (8/11/18; pg 58), Southampton are ready to target Portimonense winger Shoya Nakajima in January.

Nakajima joined Portimonense permanently in the summer after enjoying a loan spell at the club from FC Tokyo. He scored 10 goals and assisted 13 in 33 appearances last season, with that form earning him a first Japan cap.

DOHA, QATAR – JANUARY 22: Shoya Nakajima of Japan sits on the pitch after the AFC U-23 Championship quarter final match between Japan and Iran at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium on January 22, 2016 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

His form has continued into the new season, with four goals and three assists in nine games and that has Southampton keen.

Many will see him as a potential replacement for Dusan Tadic, who joined Ajax in the summer. However, Nakajima is much more than that.

He stands at just 5ft 5ins but makes up for his lack of stature with a sensational work-rate. His low centre of gravity, ball control and blistering pace makes him deadly on his right foot, coming in from the left. As well as being a winger, he can also play off the striker and Southampton would have a real gem on their hands if they could complete the reported £15 million transfer.

 

Put it this way, there’s a reason why Portuguese national paper labelled him the ‘Japanese Messi’ in September.

At 24-years-old he is a top talent and with Maya Yoshida’s presence, Southampton might be the best place to ease him into English football.

The Saints could be on to a winner with this transfer.

 

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