It’s becoming somewhat of a ritual, as a new transfer window opens the latest young talent to come off the J.League production line make the now inevitable move to Europe.
The list is almost endless, but with the growing stature of Japanese players in Europe, and the growing desire for players to move abroad, it does create its own issues.
When to go? Where to go? For what price? They are questions fans in Australia have been asking for many years and now, increasingly, are the Japanese.
For every Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda or Yuto Nagatomo there is a Kisho Yano, Genki Omae or Tomoaki Makino. That’s not to say they’re bad players, they’re not, but they have all found themselves back in Japan after short, ill-fated moves abroad. Did they go too soon? Were they not prepared for the cultural shock, both on and off the training pitch?
That is what each player has to factor in when making the decision to Domino99 move. The latest to make the move is young Kashima Antlers starlet Yuya Osaka, who has moved to 2.Bundesliga side 1860 Munchen.
Has he moved to the right club? Will he be assured of playing time? Do they play the right football to suit his game and allow him to develop? Is moving to a second division club with little chance of promotion this season the best move?
They are questions that will be answered in time. With a possible World Cup berth on the horizon, he is obviously confident it is the right move at this stage of his career, and hopefully it is for his and Japan’s sake.
Not only will he have to adjust to a new country and lifestyle, he has to …