Given the way the transfer window has gone for Arsenal this summer, it wasn’t a surprise when Takuma Asano, the Japan international, failed to secure his work permit last week. The striker who was signed for a reported £5 Million from Safrecce Hiroshima earlier this summer was a possible first team squad member.
Those plans will now have to be put on hold, with Asano being denied a work permit. Asano represented the Japanese Olympic team in this summer’s Rio Olympics.
Given that the player had made only five appearances for the Japan national team, it was always going to be a gamble for the Arsenal manager.
New rules denied his work permit application
The Football Association had amended the rules governing non-EFA players last year. The criteria had been altered and it now states that “the player must be internationally established at the highest level,” and “whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level.”
While this can be a subjective interpretation Asano also needed to represent Japan for at least 60 percent of the matches held in 24-month span.
Arsene Wenger has been on the lookout for a striker all summer, with bids for Jamie Vardy having already been rejected earlier in the summer. Asano, 21, will follow in the footsteps of earlier Japanese Gunners such as Junichi Inamoto and Ryo Miyachi.
One for the future
A product of the highly lauded high school system which has also produced fellow products such as Okazaki and Honda, Asako will hope to make a mark in the Premier League once he obtains the requisite work permit.
Takuma Asano won the J.League Rookie of the Year award in the 2015 season. Given the amount of pressure that Premier League players experience, Asako will have to hit the ground running once he puts on the colours of the London club.
Considered one of the nation's hopes after his impressive performance in last summer’s Asian Cup which didn’t include Japan’s European stars, he will be vital to the national team’s qualification rounds for the World Cup 2018.
Arsene Wenger, when questioned about the rejection of the work permit for the Japan national seemed riled and suggested that the transfer fee may have been the issue.
Given the rules, Wenger is aware of the appeal process but wasn’t too optimistic, although appeals tend to be successful if the rules laid down have been already adhered to.Published 22 Aug 2016, 18:22 IST