Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto has joined Kawasaki Frontale, completing his return to the J-League after almost nine years in Europe.
Inamoto, 30, joined the club after a frustrating spell at French side Rennes and now hopes to resurrect his international career.
“It will be easier for me to be part of the Japan set-up here than it was abroad,” he said. “It’s obviously a big plus that the Japan coach will see me play more. It’s a bonus that I will be more in his line of vision during a World Cup year of course but it’s not the only factor.”
“I saw DVDs of Frontale’s games and thought I would be able to bring my style of play to the team. I’m excited about coming back to play in Japan and hope to help bring a J-League title to Kawasaki. The World Cup is not the only reason I’m back.”
Inamoto was a member of Japan’s 2002 and 2006 World Cup squads and national team coach, Takeshi Okada, has already indicated Inamoto’s return to the J-League and first-team football will put him in line for regular international duty.
The midfielder has not played for a Japanese side since moving to Arsenal on loan from Gamba Osaka in 2001.