Exploring the market: Yojiro TakahagiPosted: January 6, 2015
Brisbane are looking for help all over their roster in the current January Transfer window, over the next couple of weeks we’ll take a look at players who may be a fit for Brisbane. Today, we look at a 28 year old Japanese midfielder who has indicated a willingness to try his luck outside his homeland in the shape of Yojiro Takahagi.
Takahagi, 28, has spent almost his entire career to date with Sanfrecce Hiroshima, making 194 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2003. His only other club was a season long loan with Ehime FC in 2006. This season alone the midfielder made 32 appearances for Sanfrecce, scoring three goals along the way. Throughout his career, Takahagi has won the J-League twice (2012, 2013), in addition to winning the Super Cup twice.
Takahagi’s performances won the favour of former Japanese coach Alberto Zaccheroni, with the midfielder making his debut for his country in the 2013 East Asian Football Federation Cup when the Samurai Blue relied upon a J-League selection. To date he has made two appearances for his country, both in the EAFF Asian Cup, and helped his side to win the tournament featuring Australia, South Korea and China.
Takahagi’s name has come up due to a story online which indicated that he was considering a transfer away from the J-League club to another Asian country- including mentioning the A-League. Cost wise it’s tough to know if it’s a possibility or not, given it’s impossible to know what kind of salary it take to sign him.
As a fit, on the face of it Takahagi would seem to be a perfect fit for the Brisbane system, with his attacking nature from midfield. It would be possible to see him fitting into that midfield area with the likes of Luke Brattan and Matt McKay, possibly on the right side of a three in a role similar to the one that Liam Miller occupied last year. They could also re-configure the midfield and play a more traditional 4-2-3-1 shape.
Obviously, with yesterdays signing of Jerome Polenz, Brisbane have filled their visa allocation of five, however with reports that Henrique is set to get his citizenship this month, and speculation that Mensur Kurtishi will depart Brisbane this month there could be an opening upcoming. His signing would be a solid one for a host of reasons, one of which would be that he would fill the +1 in the 3+1 foreign player rule for the Champions League.
Takahagi would be a fantastic signing should Brisbane head in that direction and get a deal done. As yet there is no link between Takahagi and Brisbane, other than the reports that he is keen on a contract outside of the J-League, where he mentioned Australia as one such possibility. In the end, it’s unlikely that Brisbane will end up signing Takahagi, but a player like that out of the J-League would be a fantastic signing.