It’s loooking increasingly likely that Takuma Asano will leave Arsenal without kicking a ball in anger for us.
The Japan international was signed out of the blue from Sanfrecce Hiroshima for £5 million in July 2016 and pitched by Arsene Wenger as ‘one for the future’.
Unable to secure a work permit in the UK, he was immediately sent on loan to Stuttgart, then playing in Germany’s second tier, to adapt to the speed of European football.
It’s fair to say Asano hasn’t set the world on fire this season, however, he’s still made a respectable 14 appearances at the HDI Arena.
The quandary for Hannover is that they will have to buy the 24-year-old for €3 million if he makes two more appearances in their remaining eight games of the season. “That’s the principle,” confirmed director Martin Kind.
There seems to be a split in opinion as to whether the deal is worthwhile. While there’s an acceptance that he has pace and potential, the fact he’s not registered a goal or assist in the league is a major worry. Especially as he’s mostly featuring as a second striker.
If Hannover bench Asano for the rest of the season, it could provide Arsenal with a minor headache. It’s clear he doesn’t have a future at the Emirates so we’ll have to sell him elsewhere this summer before he enters the final year of his contract.