Newcastle United are rumoured to be interested in Maya Yoshida, the VVV Venlo defender and captain of the Japanese Olympic Football Team, but is the pursuit of Yoshida to strengthen the squad or to sell more Newcastle shirts in the Asian market?
With so much young football talent on show at the 2012 Olympic football tournament, it is no surprise that Newcastle’s scouts are taken a keen interest in the matches and having a close look at some of the more impressive players.
It is being reported that one of those players that Newcastle like the look of is the Japanese captain and centre back Maya Yoshida, with a quote coming from a source at the club saying “Yoshida’s a classy player”.
23-year-old Maya Yoshida joined Dutch side VVV Venlo at the end of 2009, making his debut for Japan just a month later, and in the two-and-a-half seasons since has played more than 50 times in the Eredivisie for Venlo and 16 times for his national side.
In the Olympics, as captain, he has led his country to a semi-final match with Mexico, after the Japanese under-23 side easily dispatched Egypt 3-0 in the quarter finals.
Yoshida actually found the back of the net in that match, as he found some space to head home a free-kick, to score the second goal here…
One thing you have to wonder is whether Newcastle’s pursuit of the 6ft 2in centre back is for footballing or commercial reasons, as the Magpies do not currently have any Asian players, which would hinder their popularity in the Far East.
The Premier League is massive in Asia and you don’t need to tell Mike Ashley how the purchase of the captain of the Japanese Olympic football team could help to massively boost shirt sales in the region.
However, if Yoshida’s overhead kick against PSV is anything to go by, a strike that was voted Eredivisie goal of the year for the 2011/12 season, then the £1 million rated defender will bring plenty of ability to Newcastle United…