A new wave of Japanese wonderkids are available in Football Manager 2024, thanks to ‘the most requested’ addition coming to the game

The next Kaoru Mitoma: A new wave of Japanese wonderkids are available in Football Manager 2024
(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

The next Kaoru Mitoma is about to be discovered – thanks to Football Manager 2024 and a plethora of new Japanese wonderkids.

FM24 is out on November 6 and in a first for the game, there's a fully-licensed J-League, meaning that Japanese football is more realistic than ever on the game. FourFourTwo went to the SI studios, where the game is made to meet the team behind FM – and studio director Miles Jacobson explained just how exciting it is for there to be a brand new wave of wonderkids just waiting to be discovered. 

"We’ve been trying to get the J-League for 19 years!" Jacobson told FFT. "It’s been our most requested league over the years. There are some very exciting young players in the league."

Football Manager 2024

Football Manager 2024 drops next month (Image credit: Sports Interactive)

"The way that Japanese football is, is really quite different. Kaoru Mitoma came to everyone’s attention a bit late because he went to university and finished university before he started playing professional football.

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"It’s a different kind of system with that in place because there are restrictions on the movements of players, which adds another layer of complexity to things. It’s brilliant to have it in the game.

"The J-League has obviously been in other games before: but we’ve got the third tier of Japanese football, J-League 3. We’re going deeper than anyone’s been able to go with Japanese football. It’s exciting to get a proper release in Japan but it’s exciting to be telling the world about the great footballers that there are in Japan."

The J-League follows other Asian leagues that have licensed their players to Football Manager in the past – but Japan's national team performing so well at the World Cup in 2022 and Mitoma taking the Premier League by storm, it's an exciting time to be a fan of Japanese football. FM has helped unearth plenty a star and Jacobson says that part of the joy of the game is to throw a spotlight onto some of these players. 

Brighton vs Luton live stream Kaoru Mitoma #22 of Brighton & Hove Albion advances the ball during pre-season friendly game between Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United at Red Bull Arena on July 28, 2023 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Kaoru Mitoma has taken the Premier League by storm (Image credit: Getty Images)

"It’s like we’ve done in South Korea when we got our K-League license, like we did in Australia when we got our A-League license," he continues. "Bringing those players to a more global stage than they’re used to… it’s not exactly easy to watch the Asian Champions League in Europe. 

"People will be able to see that it’s not just Mitoma… but Mitoma really is special, isn’t he?"

More Football Manager 2024 stories

Football Manager 2024 drops on November 6, with new features teased ahead of the game's drop.

Netflix is set to carry the game. FFT's list of the wonderkids to watch out for is also out already.

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