Western Sydney Wanderers today announced the signing of Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder Yojiro Takahagi, just days after the arrival of defender Yusuke Tanaka from Kawasaki Frontale.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has sought replacement players for the expected departure of foreigners Vitor Saba and Seyi Adeleke who can both play in problematic areas for the winless A-League side and allow the Wanderers to field a full allocation of foreign players in this season’s AFC Champions League.
Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimias was delighted to capture the signature of Sanfrecce’s Takahagi, who came out of contract with his Japanese club at the end of last year.
“Takahagi is a very experienced and talented attacking player,” said Tsatsimias on the club’s homepage, “who has the versatility to play in a number of positions in the front third.
“We had an opportunity to play against him in last year’s Champions League, so we know first hand his ability and attitude on the pitch and we are very excited for him to join the squad.”
The two Japanese players will join their new club on Champions League-only contracts until the end of a potential Round of 16 appearance, although both are expected to sign full A-League contracts once Wanderers are able to add more foreigners to their squad.
28-year-old Yusuke Tanaka, who played many of Frontale’s games in last year’s J-League season, has caught the eye of Popovic with his experience and ability to play on either side of the defence.
“He is a talented and capable defender, who can play either side of defence,” Tsatsimias said of Tanaka. “Having seen first-hand his work rate, we feel that he will fit into both our style of play and our team culture very well.”
Now on a four week break for the AFC Asian Cup, the Wanderers are without a win for the current A-League season and will look to break their drought when the defending AFC Champions League winners face Melbourne City on February 1.