Japanese international Takuma Asano shall return to a familiar stomping ground with newly promoted Bundesliga side VfL Bochum next season.
The 28-times capped Samurai Blue striker will play for his third club in Germany's top flight.
|Takuma Asano.||Photo: Jeollo, Vfb-exklusiv.de, CC BY-SA 3.0|
VfL Bochum confirmed Twenty-six-year-old forward Takuma Asano on Wednesday. The once-promising Japanese international joins VfL 1848 on a free after having been given his outright release from Serbia's FK Partizan this summer.
Once signed by EPL giants Arsenal FC as a highly touted prospect, Asano was twice parked in the Bundesliga on loan by the Gunners. He spent the 2017/18 season in Swabia with VfB Stuttgart and played for Hannover 96 during the 2018/19 campaign. The player never made a Premiership appearance.
Internationally speaking, Asano just missed out on Vahid Halihodzic's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad. Many will recall the controversy surrounding that choice as the JFA pressured its Bosnian trainer to take veterans with him to Russia in place of the next generation Halihodzic wished to build. Asan did make Hajime Moriyasu's January 2019 Asian Continental Championship roster, but had to withdraw because of injury.
During his time at Stuttgart and Hannover, Asano made a cumulative total of 60 Bundesliga appearances. He netted six goals and registered six assists. After Arsenal parted company with him, he's played the last two seasons in Serbia. The winger/forward did not necessarily leave Belgrade on friendly terms. Club and player will find themselves fighting a protracted legal battle over a contract dispute.
"We are delighted that Takuma has chosen the VfL," club sporting director Sebastian Schindzierlorz said in a statement, "He is internationally experienced, knows the Bundesliga, and German football."
It appears as if Asano will not factor into the Tokyo Olympics and should be in the Bundesrepublik by early July.