The fresh new season of the Premier League hasn’t gone very well so far for Arsenal, be it in the transfer market or the couple of league games from which they have managed to pluck just a single point and are therefore languishing in the bottom half of the league table, whereas their title rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have kicked off their campaigns in an emphatic manner. Their transfer activities haven’t been much of a galvanising one either, with central midfielder Granit Xhaka being the only blockbuster signing for them so far.
After being rejected by Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, the Gunners went as far as the Far East and eventually, a £5 million deal materialised for Takuma Asano with the Japanese club Safrecce Hiroshima to bolster their first team squad. But the scenario hasn’t been very kind to Arsène Wenger and co. and to aggravate the grief further, Arsenal’s investment in the above mentioned striker would not fork out the desired returns for them, at least for this season, owing to the denial of a work permit to the Japanese.
The 21-year-old doesn’t meet the FA’s requirements of the necessary international caps for his national side and thus, does not qualify for a visa to play in England. A low profile loan move to VfB Stuttgart who ply their trade in the second tier of German football for the rest of the season doesn’t sound the best move that could have deciphered for the striker who scored a couple of goals in three games at the Olympics for Japan, but he is very likely to accumulate first team experiences as he ventures into the European football which might be a blessing in disguise for Asano.
The 2015 ‘Rookie of the Year‘ in the Japanese league can lay the foundations for his north London endeavour and if the recent history has implied anything, it is that the Japanese have thrived well in Germany for which Shinji Kagawa, Yoshinori Muto, Yuya Osako and Genki Haraguchi are palpable illustrations.
This loan deal will ensure he bags plenty of football and at the same time assist Stuttgart to get back to the top tier. The Gunners would keep a close eye on the promising stalwart until he obtains the essentials to get the work permit as he is believed to be an asset which Arsenal have deemed to be the ‘one for the future’.
Stuttgart are a team who will need to step it up next season as their fall from Bundesliga Champions not so long ago to a second tier team has been a sad story. The Bundesliga is similar to the Premier League, and the second tier isn’t far off from the cut-throat physicality of the English top-flight, so Asano will get the chance to hone his skills. It will be intriguing to see how Asano fares in a team whose ambition will be to bounce straight back up.