SINGAPOREAN SIDE LCS GIVE URAWA REDS HARSH WELCOME

Ambitious big-spending Singaporean side Lion City Sailors received a harsh welcome to the AFC Champions League on Friday as they dropped their Group F opener, losing 4-1 to Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds at the Chang Arena in Buriram.


By virtue of winning the 2021 Singapore Premier League, Lion City Sailors became only the third Singaporean side to play in the AFC Champions League after Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers. In preparation for Asia’s premier club competition, the Sailors had done their homework – ACL-winning head coach Kim Do-hoon and Brazilian midfielder Diego Lopes were retained from last season, while another ACL veteran in striker Kim Shin-wook.

NIGERIA’S UTAKA ON TARGET AS KYOTO DEFEAT URAWA

38-year-old Nigerian and former Super Eagles striker Peter Utaka is still making headlines even though not a lot of peoppw would still remember the name. While playing for the Nigerian Super Eagles national team, Utaka was one of the brightest talents in the squad. He had a decent club career and after playing for a ciuooe of clubs in Europe after his rise to srarfom, he is now in Asia, playing in the Japanese league. He has been the talk of the town in recent times following his impressive performances in the last couple of games.


The 38-year-old Nigerian striker, who has been exiled to Asia for the past ten years, is having a ball in the land of the rising sun. On Friday, he celebrated his Kyoto club’s return to the Japanese top flight by scoring the only goal of the game against Urawa Red Diamonds in the opening round of the J-League. The former international, who won 7 caps and scored 3 goals for the Super Eagles, has been playing in Asia for a decade.

BRISBANE ROAR CONFIRM JAPANESE STRIKER SIGNING

Australian League outfit Brisbane Roar have announced that they have completed the signing of Japanese striker Ryo Wada on loan for the rest of the season. He has been brought in to help the club to a strong finish to the end of the current A-League campaign. His signing comes as a result of Roar’s attackers finding it hard to find the back of the net so far. Wada has been brought in from Japanese club Sagan Tosu and the Australian club are hopeful that he could help solve their lack of goalscoring problems.

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The 26-year-old striker will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Riki Danzaki following his successful stint with the Roar. Danzaki was in some fine form for the Roar last season as he played in 2y games and managed to score 9 goals during that period. He was at the club on loan from Consadole Sapporo but the deal was not made permanent.

TOMIYASU MISSES OUT ON CUP DEFEAT

Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu was not in the Arsenal team that lost to English Championship giants Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. The Japan national team defender missed the Nottingham Forest game in their FA Cup due to a tight calf.

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In the absence of Japan international Tomiyasu at right-back, Portugal international Cedric Soares was given the nod and he didn’t really impress as his performance against the Championship team showed why Tomiyasu is the undisputed first choice right-back at the club.

ARSENAL HOPING TO MAINTAIN HOME FORM

North London giants Arsenal have one of the best home forms in the Premier League and they would be hoping to maintain it with two games in the next five days. The Gunners are one of a few teams who have dropped points in just two home games in the Premier League this season.

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In terms of points-per-game at home in the Premier League, only Liverpool have a better record than Arsenal this season and this is despite the fact that they lost their first game at home this season. In their first league game at home, the Gunners were missing several players due to injury as RomeluLukaku and Reece James found the back of the net in a 2-0 win for Chelsea.

PREMIER LEAGUE: ARSENAL DEFENSIVE SOLIDITY CONTINUES

North London giants Arsenal have turned the corner defensively in the Premier League since they conceded nine goals in their first three games and Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu is a big part of the newfound defensive solidity at the club.

Eyebrows were raised when Arsenal signed Japan national team utility defender Tomiyasu from Italian Serie A side Bologna, but he has been able to provehis doubters wrong with several assured displays in the Gunners defence. The Japan player has started all the seven Premier League matches since his arrival from Bologna on the final day of this summer’s transfer window. Tomiyasu is part of the Arsenal defence with four clean sheets in the last seven games. The Gunners have conceded just four goals in the seven league games with the clean sheet recorded in the away game against the Foxes at the weekend. Also, Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three games away from home in the Premier League.

TOMIYASU NAMED BEST ARSENAL PLAYER

Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu has been rewarded for the fantastic start to his Arsenal career after he was voted as the Player of the Month for September. Tomiyasu was voted as the best player for last month by the Arsenal fans as announced by the club earlier this week.


Tomiyasu became an Arsenal player at the end of August following his transfer from Italian Serie A club Bologna. The Gunners were reported to have paid around £16m for the Japan senior national team defender.

ARSENAL SIGN TOMIYASU FROM BOLOGNA

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Premier League heavyweights Arsenal have completed the signing of Japan international defender Takehiro Tomiyasu. 22-year-old Tomiyasu signed for the Gunners on transfer deadline day on the back of the club agreeing a fee with Bologna in the Italian Serie A. Arsenal and Bologna reportedly agreed a fee of £19.8m ($27.2m), add-ons inclusive, for the Japan national team defender.

The Gunners released a statement to announce his transfer on Tuesday. In the statement, it was revealed that Tomiyasu has penned a long-term deal at the club. It is believed that the player has signed a four-year deal with the option of an extra year.

MINAMINO ON ASTON VILLA RADAR

Liverpool attacking midfielder Takumi Minamino could be an option for Aston Villa after they missed out on Arsenal youngster Emile Smith-Rowe who has signed a new deal at the Emirates Stadium. This is according to the publication from the stables of The Boot Room.

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Japan national team star Minamino signed for Liverpool from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg at the start of last year but he has not been able to cement a place in the star-studded Liverpool forward line. The Japan international has found it hard to displace one of the front trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino at Liverpool. In addition, the Japan player still has to contend with Portuguese international Diogo Jota who signed for the Reds from fellow Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers during last summer’s transfer window.

SOUTHAMPTON KEEN TO SIGN LIVERPOOL PLAYER THIS SUMMER

Premier League club Southampton have sent a message to Liverpool that they are willing to do business with them as they aim to complete a permanent transfer of their player Takumi Minamino. The Saints took the Japanese international star on loan last season and the player was allowed to express himself on the pith by being awarded more games than he could ever have played if he remained at Anfield.

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Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was particularly in support of the loan move for the young attacker, with the manager claiming that it would help the former Salzburg star gather more experience and also get more minutes on the pitch. Minamino’s signing from Salzburg has not been the best of options by the parties involved and many fans have already made it clear that they do not like how the attacker is not given the chance to represent the Reds.