Despite it being Sunday, we kick-off today’s transfer round-up with that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Japan forward Takuma Asano from Japanese outfit Sanfrecce Hiroshima. The 21-year-old will move to the Emirates this summer, subject to a medical and international clearance.
Asano, who made his senior international debut in 2015, has proven a big success in his homeland since making his club debut at the age of 18. However, despite impressing in Asia, somewhat unsurprisingly, his will be an unknown quantity to almost the entirety of his new club’s fans.
He has gained five caps at international level and during his time with Sanfrecce Hiroshima he has made 56 appearances, scoring 11 goals – which is by no means a clinical return, and a statistic that will undoubtedly raise more questions than it answers.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: “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.”
Having described the youngster as a player for the future, it is unlikely we will get to see much of him in the Premier League next season. If nothing else, this will be music to the ears of those longing for Arsene Wenger to sign a top class centre-forward.
Nonetheless, those fans may be disappointed to hear of another set-back in the race for a leading attacking target, as Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas has ruled out a summer exit for Alexandre Lacazette, claiming the in-demand striker wishes to stay at the club. The striker had been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates, after manager Arsene Wenger refused to rule out a move for him this summer.
“We have had a few calls, but Alexandre will stay. I think it is his desire and the coach counts on him, “Aulas told French television channel Canal+.
Lacazette scored 27 times in 33 appearances during the 2014/15 campaign and added a further 21 league goals last season. His ability to convert chances would have provided the Gunners with an alternative option to Olivier Giroud up front, offering Wenger the choice to switch-up his tactics whenever necessary – particularly when trying to break down more conservative opposition.
Despite this recent update, Arsenal fans should remain optimistic in the race for the Frenchman’s signature. Lyon’s President may have ‘ruled’ out a move, but this is because he realises Lacazette’s importance to the club. If the Gunners were to come in with a tempting-enough offer, there is every chance that the French outfit would part ways with their prized asset. It will be a waiting game, but the summer is long.
Finally, Wojciech Szczesny’s agent is expected to meet representatives from Roma on Monday to outline the goalkeeper’s position at the club. Reports in Gazzamercato.it claim the Giallorossi would like to keep the Poland international, who is still on the books at Arsenal, who have no intention of retaining his services next term, on loan for another season.
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