Takuma Asano says he was initially hesitant about joining Arsenal before his friends and family helped persuade him to accept the challenge.
The striker, who signed from J-League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima last month, will join up with the Gunners when he returns from the Rio Olympics where he’s featuring for Japan.
Admitting he’s excited by the whirlwind turn of events, Asano told FIFA.com he’ll do his best to get in the Arsenal first team this year although he admits he may have to wait for his chance to shine in the Premier League.
“I’ve always wanted to play abroad and I had a few offers before but I was never sure if I should go or not,” he said on the eve of the tournament.
“Once I was called up for the top national team where there are a lot of players playing abroad. Playing with them made me think that I also want to play and challenge in a foreign league.
“And then I had the offer from Arsenal. Of course, I was still not sure whether to go or not. I talked with my family and friends and felt good about the decision after talking with them.”
“I’m ecstatic about everything! With the Olympics and also for Arsenal—I’m still not sure if I’ll actually play for Arsenal right away in the coming season, but definitely I’ll try my best.
“My motto is to give 100 per cent for what’s ahead of myself, so I just want to give my best to everything, whether it be for the Olympics or the new season. Even for my career after the Olympics, I definitely want to try to make the top national team.”
If you want to watch Asano in action, you can do so tonight when Japan open their Olympic campaign against Nigeria at 9pm local time.