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Besiktas set their sights on additional Japanese stars

Belgium v Japan: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Belgium v Japan: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
ANALYST
Modified 25 Mar 2019
Rumors

Besiktas are reportedly interested in Cerezo Osaka`s Hiroshi Kiyotake (29). The former Seville midfielder would be the second Japanese attacker at the club with Shinji Kagawa joining on loan from Borussia Dortmund in February.

In addition to Kiyotake, the Turkish giants also have their eyes set on FC Tokyo wing-back Sei Muroya (23), according to a Japanese media source on Monday afternoon.

The Black Eagles are that pleased with their first Japanese addition that they aim to sign another in time for the next transfer window. Kagawa has hit the ground running at the Istanbul club, scoring 3 goals in 6 games.

Kiyotake, who has experience of playing in Germany and Spain, plays his football for Japanese top-flight side Cerezo Osaka. He tallied a total of 17 Bundesliga goals and has 43 caps for the Japan national team.

Muroya is currently a starting fixture for the Japanese national team and is known for his speed and ability to swing in accurate crosses from the wing. He also started for his country in their recent friendly against Colombia on Friday evening. A move to the Turkish Super Lig would be the capital city players first venture overseas.

Local neighbours and bitter rivals Galatasaray also have a Japanese star on their books with left-back Yuto Nagatomo. Seemingly relations between the two nations are strengthening, at least from a football perspective.

Digital sports broadcasting giants DAZN began streaming Besiktas and Galatasaray games upon Kagawa`s arrival. Suggestions have also been made to move the kick-off time of the derby between the two teams to accommodate Japan's time zone.

This would follow similar moves from fellow European sides such as Werder Bremen with Yuya Osako and Getafe CF with Gaku Shibasaki who are trying to access the Japanese supporter market with such signings.

Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah has also cited the move as a possible contributing factor in an increase in tourism between the two nations. Arrangements are also being made to allocate tickets for the derby to Japanese tourists hoping to visit the country and cheer on their national heroes.

Unlike the elite European leagues, Turkey`s Super Lig is more likely to be able to offer Far Eastern players regular first-team roles. This would enable Super Lig clubs to present their Japanese stars on the big stage regularly and with a greater chance of an entertaining performance

Published 25 Mar 2019
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