ONE IN, ONE OUT FOR GUNNERS
By David Allen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Kyoto Purple Sang star Hirano, 26, has joined The Gunners in a bid to earn a move to England, which would be beneficial for the player and both clubs.
Hirano is one of the biggest stars in the J-League, and Arsenal's merchandising opportunities in the Far East are sure to be increased should he earn a permanent, £1 million transfer.
The player has had seven seasons at Kyoto after moving from Nagoya Grampus Eight, but found it hard to get a regular place in the 2000 season, making only nine J-League starts.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old stopper Canoville has moved to Northampton for a month's loan spell in a bid to gain first team experience, and goes straight into the squad for the derby with Peterborough this weekend.
The versatile defender, who has represented England at youth level, has moved to Sixfields on the recommendation of team-mate Lee Chilvers, who has just returned to Arsenal from a similar spell.
"I hope I can do as well here as Liam," said Canoville, who made his first senior Arsenal appearance in the Worthington Cup clash with Ipswich this season. "I wanted first team experience and as soon as I knew of Northampton's interest in me things moved very quickly.
"Liam told me about his time at Northampton, how well he was treated and what a good set up it is here. Since arriving I've been very impressed with the club. I hope to do well for Northampton over the next month and we'll take it from there."
Cobblers manager Kevin Wilson was pleased to make another addition to his squad, adding: "Lee is a good athlete. He is over six feet tall and works hard with good pace.
"He can play in a number of positions, and he gives us good options. He's walking straight in to a big game.
"It is a big compliment to us that Arsenal trust us with their younger players. They respected the way we helped Liam and they were keen for Lee to come here."
James Harper (pictured) has returned to Highbury after spending a month on loan at Third Division club Cardiff.