I had high hopes for Takumo Asano. The Japan international seemed to have what it takes to become something special at Arsenal. Unfortunately, the Home Office had different ideas.
Despite playing most of Stuttgart’s games last season in the Bundesliga 2, apparently Asano has not played enough to get a work permit. It just goes to show how ridiculous the system is. Another Japan international, Ryo Miyaichi managed to get work permit having played a lot less games than Asano. I believe he qualified as an ‘exceptional talent’. However, as much as I am a fan of Ryo’s pace and technique, he has achieved a lot less than Asano.
Let’s look at what Asano has achieved, despite being only 22: he was arguably Japan’s best player at the 2016 Olympics, he played 26 times in Stuttgart’s promotion-winning campaign in 2016-17, he’s won the J.League with Sanfrecce Hiroshima twice in 2013 and 2015 and the Japanese Super Cup three times with the same club. With that kind of track record, Asano sounds like a winner to me. That’s why I believe that instead of loaning him out to Stuttgart for another year, Arsenal should appeal the Home Office’s decision.