Football column

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

Recently, it is not uncommon for Japanese players to move to big clubs. Liverpool’s Minamino and Arsenal’s Tomiyasu are two examples.

Another player, Toru Furukawa, moved directly from the J-League to Celtic.

In this article, we will introduce players who are expected to move overseas from the J-League, like Furuhashi.

Players expected to move overseas 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)

I 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. After temporary moves to Mito Hollyhock, CS Maritimo in Portugal, and Yokohama F. Marinos, he moved to Yokohama F. Marinos in 2021.

Playing style

Maeda is characterized by his overwhelming speed. As of the end of the 35th season in 2021, he dominated the sprint ranking from 1st to 4th. This means that they have an unparalleled running ability in the league. This shows that he has an unrivaled running ability in the league, and that he puts it to good use in every game.

He is also currently No. 1 in the scoring ranking with 21 points. Most of his goals are scored by taking the ball from the front line defense and scoring a goal. In this season, Maeda’s press speed is often too fast for the opposing defenders and goalkeepers to handle, so they take the ball and score.

Another common goal scored by Maeda is from a cross. His off-the-ball movement is also excellent, and he is steadily improving not only in terms of speed but also as a striker.

In addition to the offensive side of the game, we must also talk about the defensive side. In addition to the front line defense mentioned above, Maeda also defends back near the final line. There are many times when he overtakes a friendly midfielder or DF to prevent a pinch. After all, Maeda’s characteristic of approaching from behind at high speed is also utilized in his defense.

Postecoglou, the former manager of Yokohama F. Marinos, is now the manager of Celtic in Scotland. Therefore, there is a high possibility that Maeda, a student of his, will move there. Maeda is much more powerful than when he was in Portugal before. If he makes a second attempt to play overseas, his performance will be highly anticipated.

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 belongs to Cerezo Osaka. He went to Toyo University from Maebashi Ikuei High School, joined Montedio Yamagata of J2 in 2019, and has been playing for Cerezo Osaka since 2020.

Playing style

Sakamoto’s forte is dribbling, which puts his opponents at his mercy. He is synonymous with the “cutback” move, which allows him to get past opposing defenders with ease. In the 2020 season, he ranked first in the league in the number of fouls committed. In the 2020 season, he ranked first in the league in the number of fouls committed, which shows how wary other clubs are of this player.

What makes his dribbling possible is the accuracy of his crosses with both feet. First of all, because of the high accuracy of his left foot, his dominant foot, opposing defenders are forced to be wary of Sakamoto’s crosses. This makes it easier for him to kick feint by pulling deep. And if you can pull it off, you can supply a good ball with your right foot. On the other hand, if you are too wary of dribbling back, you can simply use your left foot to create chances. In this way, Sakamoto’s ability to create chances even when people are wary of his dribbling and crossing is one of his great strengths.

In addition, Sakamoto’s tenacity is also attractive. He has a high number of fouls, but he doesn’t collapse 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 for him to move overseas, he 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 Ayayo Ueda, a member of Kashima Antlers. He is a striker who has been selected for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Playing style

Ueda’s main attraction is the quality of his off-the-ball movement. He plays well in and around the box, and creates many free-kick situations. For example, when you are on the front line, you can move to the offside position and disappear from the view of your opponent. By moving back to the onside position while still out of sight, you can receive the ball while unmarked. You can also create effective space by moving back and forth again and again. By moving effectively when he does not have the ball, Ueda is able to create chances.

Ueda also has high physical and technical abilities. In terms of physical ability, his quick acceleration helps him to peel off his opponent. And with his high trapping skills, he is able to get the ball into a position where he can shoot easily.

With these characteristics, as of November 2021, he ranks fourth in goals with 13. He is averaging 2.6 shots per game, good for 6th in the league.

Ueda is a regular member of the national team for his age group and is a young player who is also active in J1. He is a regular in the national team and a young player who is also active in J1. He is a player who is expected to improve as a striker.

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 been a member of many national teams in his generation and was selected for the Tokyo Olympics.

Playing style

Hatate’s main characteristic is his utility. He is an attacking player by nature, but he also plays left back for his club. This means that 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 characterized by his ability to play any position with high quality. The fact that he is used in this way by Kawasaki, a team that has won back-to-back championships with overwhelming strength, is the best proof of this.

As of November 2021, he ranked first in the league in enemy passes per game with an average of 42.1. He is also a good pass receiver, which shows that he has good passing skills. His physical strength can also be seen in his ability to keep the ball and carry it forward without losing it easily. On the other hand, it can be said that he is able to play many positions because of his high level of technical and physical strength.

There are reports that former Yokohama F. Marinos and current Celtic coach Postecoglou is trying to acquire him, making him one of the players in the J. League who is closest to an overseas move.

Kosei Tani

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

The fifth player is Kosei Tani of Shonan Bellmare, who was registered as a second-class player by Gamba Osaka in 2016 as a first-year high school student and played for the U-23 team. He was promoted to the top division 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 characteristic is his ability to handle high balls, such as crosses and fly passes, with his height of 190cm and long arms and legs. As of November 2021, his cross-catch rate was 32.5%, second best in the league, which shows his strength against high balls.

He is also very consistent in his saving ability despite his young age, with a 90% save rate on shots outside the PA area, which is 8th in the league. This number shows that he is strong against middle shots. They are also 5th in the league in shot catch rate outside the PA area at 70%, and 10th in the league in shot catch rate inside the penalty area at 27.1%.

This shows how often they handle the ball by catching it without spilling it. If you just play the ball, there is a great chance that it will be spilled by the opponent and cause a pinch. However, if you make a catch, you can end the opponent’s attack, thus lowering the probability of losing the game. It is worth mentioning that not only are they good at saving, but they also have a lot of catches to handle.

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


The players introduced in this article have already achieved results in the J-League. They also have national team experience, so if they play well overseas, they may be selected for the World Cup.

If you see them at a national team game, please pay attention to their play.

Their cards are also available at sorare, so if you are interested in them, why not check them out?


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