Arsenal: Everyone Calm Down About Takuma Asano

SUITA, JAPAN - JUNE 07: Takuma Asano
SUITA, JAPAN - JUNE 07: Takuma Asano /

When Arsenal signed Takuma Asano from Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the doom-mongers came out in full force, calling for Arsene Wenger’s head, as he had shown no ambition, particularly in comparison to the high-profile signings made by our rivals.

Well all of us need to calm down.

Takuma Asano is not supposed to be the major striker signing that we need. Not in our minds, and not in Wenger’s. Even during the announcement of the young forward, the manager described Asano as ‘very much one for the future’, and someone who would be ‘developing over the next one or two years’.

Related Story: Batshuayi A Wise Pass

This guy is little more than a youth prospect who only received this much media attention because he took it upon himself to reveal Arsenal’s interest just as the striker-rumours were in full flow. If he had not made this statement, no one would really have cared about this signing. He is only being ridiculed because no one has heard of him, and he has a funny goal celebration. At least he has goals to celebrate.

Arsenal, Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has been stocking up on wonderkids and young prospects in anticipation of his departure. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

Takuma Asano is no more Arsenal’s striker solution than Kelechi Nwakali was going to be our midfield-one. The midfield-solution was a high-profile signing from one of Europe’s major leagues, and the striker will probably be as well.

Wenger has been actively shopping for wunderkids in the last few transfer windows because he wants us to be in good shape for the future after he leaves. Asano is not joining Granit Xhaka and Petr Cech as our major-signings, but joining Vlad Dragomir, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Yassin Fortune and Krystian Bielik as minor-additions.

More from Arsenal News

The comparisons to Junichi Inamoto and Ryo Myaichi are understandable, but let’s at least give the guy a chance. He has got a decent CV in Japan, for whatever value that that would have. Besides, even if he flops, he didn’t cost much, so how bad can it be? There is also a huge list of other young, pacy, technical forwards in Arsenal’s youth setup.

Besides, I do think that Wenger would like to bring through at least one Japanese player during his Arsenal tenure, given that he worked at Nagoya Grampus 8 before coming to manage Arsenal, and that he retains a huge admiration for the Japanese work-ethic. Arsenal is also a good place for one of Japan’s finer prospects, since Wenger speaks the language and has a good track-record with developing young forwards.

Chris Willock is one of Arsenal's many promising forwards. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Chris Willock is one of Arsenal’s many promising forwards. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) /

Asano is probably not even going to be in the first-team picture for next season, as he has to navigate through a whole host of work-permit regulations. Even then, he will probably be sent on loan as he adapts to the English game, and generally improves his play.

Those who have dismissed this signing as a commercial gimmick, aimed at selling more shirts in the East-Asian market, may not entirely be wrong. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. To see a local boy (potentially) make it big in a major European league is a huge inspiration for the kids over there, particularly in a country where the game is still developing. Mohammed Elneny has had the same impact for people in Egypt and Alexis Sanchez for those in Northern Chile. For that matter, the game received a boost in India just when Sunil Chhetri was signed for the Sporting Lisbon reserves. It’s not just about selling shirts (they don’t make much money anyway), it’s about supporting the game.

Please do check-out the video in the article I have linked about Elneny. It shows exactly what I mean, and is really heart-warming.

Mohammed Elneny has become an inspiration or millions of young Egyptians(Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Mohammed Elneny has become an inspiration or millions of young Egyptians(Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images) /

Going back to Arsenal, Wenger has made it clear that Asano is not a first-team signing, not even one for the first-team fold. Add him along with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Wellington Silva as someone who might be entering the squad soon, but is nowhere near a crucial player yet.

I for one do believe that Arsenal will sign a fully-fledged striker this summer, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it came somewhat out of left-field. Meanwhile, we should stop worrying about Asano. His signing is much less than it is being made out to be.

Plus, his name sounds like Ahsoka Tano, who is a pretty cool Star Wars character.

Next: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Of Asano Transfer

What do you think, Arsenal fans? Are you incensed by this signing, or do you believe that the whole affair is just much ado about nothing? Voice your opinions in the comments below.