Football column

Here are five players in the J.League who are expected to move abroad

It is not uncommon for Japanese players to move to big clubs these days. Liverpool’s Minamino and Arsenal’s Tomiyasu are just two examples.

Another example is Toruogu Furuhashi, who moved straight from the J.League to Celtic.

In this article, we will introduce you to some of the players who are expected to move abroad from the J.League, like Furuhashi.

Players expected to move abroad from the J.League

The following five players will be introduced to you this time.

  • Daizen Maeda (Yokohama F Marinos)
  • Tatsuhiro Sakamoto (Cerezo Osaka)
  • Ayase Ueda (Kashima Antlers)
  • Reo Hatate (Kawasaki Frontale)
  • Kosei Tani (Shonan Bellmare)

We will quickly explain the playing style of each of them.

Daizen Maeda

前田 大然
Date of birth October 20, 1997
Height 173cm
Weight 67kg
Position FW

The first player is Daizen Maeda, who belongs to Yokohama F Marinos. After graduating from Yamanashi Gakuin University High School, he joined Matsumoto Yamaga FC in 2016. He moved to Mito Hollyhock, CS Maritimo in Portugal and Yokohama F Marinos on a temporary basis before joining the club in 2021.

Playing style

Maeda’s speed is one of the main characteristics of his game. At the end of the 35th season in 2021, he dominated the first four places in the sprint rankings. This means that he is one of the best runners in the league. In the same way, he has 21 points.

In the same way, we are currently first in the scoring table with 21 points. Most of his goals are scored by taking the ball from the front line defence and scoring a goal. Maeda’s pressing speed is so fast that his defenders and goalkeepers are unable to cope with it and the ball is taken away from them.

Another of Maeda’s goals has come from crosses. His off-the-ball movement is excellent, and he is steadily improving as a striker as well as a speedster.

And it’s not just the attacking side that we need to talk about, but also the defensive side. Maeda is not only a front line defender as mentioned above, but also a defender who goes back close to the last line. It is not only the front line defence that Maeda has mentioned above, but also his ability to get back close to the last line to defend, often getting past a team-mate or a defender to prevent a pinch. It’s a defence that also benefits from Maeda’s ability to come at you from behind at great speed.

Postecoglou, the former manager of Yokohama F Marinos, is now the manager of Celtic in Scotland. The former Yokohama F Marinos manager, Postecoglou, is now the manager of Celtic in Scotland, so there is a good chance that his son Maeda will move there. Maeda is a much more powerful player than he used to be in Portugal. He is now a much stronger player than he was in Portugal, and we hope that he will be able to make his mark in his second spell abroad.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto

坂元 達裕
Date of birth October 22, 1996
Height 170cm
Weight 63kg
Position MF

The second player is Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who plays for Cerezo Osaka. He went to Toyo University from Maebashi Ikuei High School, joined J2 club Montedio Yamagata in 2019 and has been playing for Cerezo Osaka since 2020.

Playing style

Sakamoto plays with a dribbling style that puts opponents at their mercy. He is synonymous with the ‘cut and run’ move, which sees him run past defenders with ease. In the 2020 season, he was first in the league in the number of fouls committed. In the 2020 season he was first in the league in the number of fouls conceded, a fact that makes him a player that other clubs are wary of.

And it is the accuracy of his crosses with both feet that makes his dribbling possible. His left foot is the most accurate, which makes opposition defenders wary of his crosses. If he can get past them, he can use his right foot to make a kick feint. And if he pulls it out, he can supply a good ball with his right foot. On the other hand, if the player is too wary of dribbling on the turn, he can simply use his left foot to create chances. His ability to create chances both on the dribble and on the cross is what makes him so special.

In addition to this, Sakamoto’s tenacity is also very attractive. He has a high number of fouls, but he does not fall easily under pressure from his opponents. He is also a strong defender and is able to hold his own against foreign players. Former Cerezo coach Rotina also praised Tatsu’s contribution to the team, saying: “Not only can he break down one-on-one, but he also does a lot of work.

Although there are no concrete plans to move abroad, Tatsu is expected to play an active role overseas and become a regular member of the national team.

Ayase Ueda

上田 絢世
Date of birth August 28, 1998
Height 182cm
Weight 76kg
Position FW

The third player is Ayase Ueda, who plays for Kashima Antlers. She is a striker who was selected for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Playing style

Ueda’s best quality is his off-the-ball movement. He plays well in and around the box, and creates many free-flowing situations. When he is on the front line, for example, he can move to an offside position and disappear from the opposition’s sight. By moving back to the onside position, he is able to receive the ball unmarked. By moving back and forth again and again, you also create effective space. This is how Ueda is able to create chances by moving effectively when he does not have the ball.

Ueda also has great physical and technical ability. In terms of his physical ability, he can accelerate very quickly, which helps him to peel off his opponent. And his trapping skills allow him to get the ball into the right position to shoot.

These attributes have helped him to score 13 goals, which ranks him fourth in the world, as of November 2021. His average of 2.6 shots per game is good for sixth in the league.

Ueda is a regular in the national team and a young player who is also active in J1. He is a regular in the national team and is also a young player who has made his mark in J1, so it is no surprise that he is attracting the attention of international teams. He is a striker who will be looking to improve his game.

Reo Hatate

旗手 怜央
Date of birth November 21, 1997
Height 171cm
Weight 70kg
Position DF・MF・FW

The fourth player is Reo Hatate from Kawasaki Frontale. He went to Juntendo University from Shizuoka Gakuen High School and has been playing for Kawasaki Frontale since 2020. He has represented his generation and was selected for the Tokyo Olympics.

Playing style

Hatate’s main attribute is his utility. He is an attacking player by nature, but also plays left back for his club. This means he can play at left-back, central-half, second-row and FW. It is not uncommon for players to be able to play more than one position. However, Hatate is a player who can play in any position with high quality. The fact that he is used in this way by Kawasaki, the team that has won back-to-back titles with overwhelming strength, is proof enough.

As of November 2021, he was first in the league in enemy passes per game with an average of 42.1. He also has good passing skills, as evidenced by his excellent pass reception record. His physicality is also evident in his ability to hold onto the ball and carry it forward. On the flip side, his technical and physical strength is also of a high standard, which is why he is able to play in so many positions.

He is one of the closest players in the J.League to a move abroad at the moment, with former Yokohama F.Marinos and current Celtic manager Postecoglou reportedly keen on him.

Kosei Tani

谷 晃生
Date of birth November 22, 2000
Height 190cm
Weight 84kg
Position GK

The fifth player is Kosei Tani from Shonan Bellmare, who was registered as a second-class player by Gamba Osaka in his first year of high school in 2016 and played for the U-23 team. He was promoted to the top flight in 2018 and has been on loan at Shonan Bellmare since 2020. He was the regular goalkeeper at the Tokyo Olympics.

Playing style

Tani’s first and foremost skill is handling high balls, using his 190cm height and long arms and legs to handle crosses, fly passes and other high balls with ease. As of November 2021, he was second in the league with a 32.5% cross-catch rate, which shows how strong he is against high balls.

He is also a steady, young player with a 90% save rate from shots outside the PA area, the 8th best in the league. He has the eighth highest percentage of shots saved outside the PA area in the league (90%), which shows his strength against midfield shots. We are also fifth in the league in shots caught outside the PA area (70%) and tenth in the league in shots caught inside the penalty area (27.1%).

This means that we are catching the ball more often than we are spilling it. If you just play the ball, there is a big chance that it will be spilled and you will be in trouble. However, if you catch the ball, you can end the attack and reduce the chance of scoring. It’s not just that they are good at saving, it’s also that they have a lot of catching to do.

Goalkeeping is a difficult position to play abroad due to the language barrier. However, from the Tokyo Olympics also had a taste of their own against the strong, is a player who is expected to play abroad.


The players introduced in this article are players who have already achieved results in the J League. Because of the experience of the national team, if you play well abroad, there is a possibility that you will be selected for the World Cup.

If you see them at a national team match, keep an eye out for them.

Their cards are also available on sorare, so why not check them out?


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