The Three Greatest Japanese Players In Premier League History

The beauty of the English Premier League is that players from all over the world travel to the home of football to ply their trade in front of some of the passionate fans in all of sport.

Since the EPL was founded in 1992 countless foreign exports have made a huge splash in the league and helped it become the strongest in world football.

During this time Japan has hosted a World Cup and saw a fair few of its players prosper on the biggest stage.

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#3 Maya Yoshida

Maya Yoshida is a 33-year-old center-back who currently plays in Serie A for Sampdoria, but he is best known for his long stay at EPL side Southampton.

The Nagasaki-born defender started his career in Asia before earning a move to the Dutch side VVV-Venlo in 2009. After a three-year stay in Holland, Yoshida was snapped up by newly promoted Southampton for a deal believed to be worth £3 million.

Yoshida became a fixture in the Saints side during his eight-year stay in England. During his time in the world’s best league, Yoshida made 154 appearances and scored six goals.

Despite moving on from the EPL, Yoshida continues to play at a high level in Italy and is the current captain of Japan’s national team, for who he has played for 115 times throughout his impressive career which continues into 2022年版おすすめオンラインカジノガイド

#2 Shinji Okazaki

Shinji Okazaki is a 35-year-old forward who is currently playing for Cartagena in the Spanish second division but is best known for winning the Premier League with Leicester during his time in England.

Okazaki built his career in Japan from 2005-2010 before earning a move to Europe with Stuggart in Germany.

After a two-year stay, he moved to Mainz, who at the time was coached by Thomas Tuchel.

By 2015 the Takarazuka native was ready to mix it with the best players in the world in the Premier League with Leicester City. However, not even the most optimistic Leicester fan would’ve suspected that during his time at the club Okazaki would become a Premier League winner with the previously relegation-threatened side.

Okazaki finished his four-year stay in England with 114 appearances, 14 goals, and a Premier League winners medal to his name. Since leaving the UK in 2019, Okazaki has been plying his trade in Spain at a few different clubs.

The striker is something of a Japanese legend having made 119 caps for his national side while scoring 50 goals, a stat that makes him the third-highest goal scorer in the history of Japan.

#1 Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa is perhaps the most well-known Japanese footballer and that’s for a good reason. In terms of talent, he is far and away the best player to ever come out of the region and his trophy cabinet proves that.

The midfielder earned himself a big reputation playing in Japan at the start of his career, scoring 55 goals during his four-year stay at Cerezo Osaka.

Kagawa got himself a move to German footballing giant Borussia Dortmund who under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp was becoming one of the greatest teams in the sport and Kagawa only added to that success.

During his time in Germany Kagawa scored 21 goals to help Dortmund win back-to-back Bundesliga titles.

The Japanese standout was so impressive that one of the biggest sides in England, Manchester United, soon came calling with a £12 million bid that saw him move to the Premier League.

Kagawa never really got going during his three-year stay in the EPL and only made 38 appearances for United before moving back to Dortmund. However, he did manage to win the EPL and Community Shield with the ‘Red Devils’

Upon his return to Germany, Kagawa rediscovered his form and scored 99 goals during the next five years with Dortmund. Since 2019, Kagawa has been club-hopping, spending time with Besiktas, Real Zaragoza, PAOK and Sint-Truidense.

Who do you think is the best Japanese player to ever grace the English Premier League?

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