Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a number of Japanese players since the arrival of manager Anze Postecoglou.
This time, it’s center back Hiroki Ito, who plays for Stuttgart. Japan’s Sports Nippon reported on Wednesday that Tottenham are interested in signing Ito, citing multiple sources.
Ito is a left-footed center back. He spent one season on loan at German Bundesliga side Stuttgart in the 2021-2022 season before completing a permanent move in May 2022.
Ito made 34 appearances for the club in the 2022-2023 season, including 29 in the Bundesliga. Stuttgart are reportedly already scouting for a replacement in preparation for Ito’s departure.
Tottenham have had left-footed center back Clément Langlais this season. However, his loan spell with Barcelona has come to an end. An outright transfer has been suggested, but several options are being considered. Ito is also on the list.
The 24-year-old Ito made his professional debut in 2018 with Jubilo Iwata of the J-League. The following year, he was loaned to the Nagoya Grampus for one season before returning to Iwata for two seasons in the second division. A member of Japan’s national team, Ito played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Postecoglou has a soft spot for the J-League, having led the Yokohama Marinos to their first J-League title in 15 years in 2019 after coaching the Australian national team.
Postecoglou used his success in the J-League to pave the way for his arrival at Tottenham in 2021, when he took over at Scottish club Celtic and won a double in his first season and a treble in his second.
Postecoglou had five Japanese players at Celtic. Among them are striker Kyogo Furuhashi and midfielder Leo Hatate, who have been linked with a move to Tottenham.
Both were recruited under Postecoglou. Furuhashi played for Vissel Kobe and Hatate for Kawasaki Frontale when Postecoglou was in the J-League.먹튀검증
Furuhashi was named Player of the Year this season after scoring 34 goals in 50 appearances, including 27 in the league. Hatate, an attacking midfielder, is an all-around player who can also play on the flanks. He scored nine goals and provided 11 assists this season, earning a spot in the league’s Best 11.
Tottenham is led by Son Heung-min, who became the first Asian player to win the English Premier League’s Golden Boot. With Postecoglou at the helm, it seems only a matter of time before Japanese players make their mark.