Exclusive: Western Sydney Wanderers look to Japan once more
FourFourTwo understands that a deal has been reached to bring midfielder Jumpei Kusukami to the club to join fellow foreign recruits Artiz Borda and Bruno Pinatares.
The 28-year-old is currently on the books of J-League outfit Sagan Tosu, but with manager Massimo Ficcadenti overhauling his squad, it’s believed that the little used Kusukami will be released to join the Wanderers.
Predominantly a left-sided midfielder but equally as capable of playing anywhere across midfield, he has a reputation as an attack-minded player who likes to dribble and beat opponents one-on-one, and should offer an attacking edge to Tony Popovic’s side.
After making his top-flight debut with Kawasaki Frontale in 2009, he spent the next three years with the club before a three-year stint with Cerezo Osaka from 2013 to 2015, including a season spent playing alongside fellow Wanderers’ midfielder Mitch Nichols.
A product of one of the most famed Japanese high school teams, Yasu, from his hometown of Shiga, Kusukami grew up playing on the same team as Spain-based Japan international Takashi Inui and has often spoken of the hours he spent honing his skills by himself in a local park as he didn’t have any other friends who liked football.
Signed by Tosu at the start of the current J-League season, Kusukami has struggled to establish himself at the battling club, starting only three Nabisco Cup matches and making two league appearances off the bench in late May.
He becomes the fourth Japanese player to join the Wanderers after the highly successful stint of Shinji Ono, plus the less-than-stellar showings of Yojiro Takahagi and Yusuke Tanaka in 2015.
Main image courtesy of Sagan Tosu