As Arsenal supporters, we frequently have to dig deep to find things to be excited about. Big signings are not something that we can usually look forward to. In the past four years, we’ve had four big signings. Meanwhile, while I don’t want to look up the numbers out of fear of what I’d find, I would wager that all the other top-tier sides in England average about three or four big signings per season. Heck, Manchester United just surpassed Arsenal’s previous two transfer windows with one signing alone.
But that’s okay. We are not Arsenal supporters for the new faces. In fact, I would wager that we are Arsenal supporters for the opposite – the long-term tenants that have the club on more than just the outside of their shirts. It’s on the inside too (how poetic).
That’s the way football should be, unless you ask a Manchester United fan who only discovered football as of three years ago. Then you would be lead to think it’s all about the signings. But I digress.
Still, this window has been a disappointment for Arsenal supporters. Even more so than usual. Instead of filling the giant striker void, Wenger went out and bought himself another striker project. But fear not, it’s not another Yaya Sanogo. At least not yet.
It is Japanese Rookie of the Year Takuma Asano.
The 21 year old comes over from Japan as a relative unknown, as the J-League doesn’t exactly garner much attention. And yet, if anyone was deserving of that attention, it is most certainly Asano. After a breakout year where, at the age of 20, he scored 14 goals in 42 appearances, he went into the new season and scored eight in 16 before making the move to Arsenal.
All that considered, there was still very little reason to get excited about a 21 year old Japanese striker that was sure to get loaned out.
And then the Olympics came around. With Serge Gnabry tearing up the Olympics for Germany, Asano is doing the same with Japan, scoring twice in two games thus far.
He may not be the enormous ego with an appropriately-scaled price tag striker that some were hoping for, but there is still reason to be excited about young Asano. Again, at Arsenal, you have to find new ways to get excited and a lot of the prospects in Arsenal’s system should be brewing excitement.
Asano needs to be added to that list. His goal production is increasing by the month. At this rate, he could feasibly be a candidate for Arsenal’s first team within a year or two.
It’s a project, there’s no doubting that, and Wenger has failed with his projects before. But there is still a keen eye and a lot of ingenuity in Le Prof and that could come to the forefront with Asano.
Original article sourced from paininthearsenal.com