Gunners eye Japan starlet

ARSENAL are casting an eye over Japanese youth international Naoya Kikuchi of Shimizu Shogyo.

Kikuchi is a product of the highly-regarded Shogyo academy which has developed full internationals such as Hidetoshi Nakata, Shinji Ono and Junichi Inamoto.

Gunners scout Liam Brady was impressed by Kikuchi during last year's Under-17 World Championship and reports suggest Arsenal have invited the Japanese starlet to North London for a two-week trial period next month.

"The width of his version is a natural thing, we certainly want him to come," Brady told Nikkan Sports.

"I expect him to be in the Japan national team in the next two years. If he gets more experience playing at the top world level, he will grow more."

Arsenal already have Japanese international midfielder Inamoto (pictured) on the Highbury books having signed the 22-year-old from Gamba Osaka at the start of the campaign.


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