Yoshida pursuit more than just a shirt selling exercise for Newcastle?

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Japan captain Maya YoshidaNewcastle 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.

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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…


Click on Gutierrez below to see the shirt Yoshida could help to sell in Japan and to choose your favourite Newcastle home kit from recent campaigns

gutierrez in newcastle home shirt

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  • Rob says:

    Shirt selling exercise? I live in Tokyo as a Toon Expat and let me tell you, there are no Japanese walking around with Kagawa Man U shirts on. Yes, the Premier League is big in Singapore and HK but there is still a very long way to go before it can be said in Japan. I will guarantee you now that you will not see Japanese walking around with Yoshida Toon shirts on. Do your research and you will find that Asia is a continent full of different countries, they are not all the same! I will say however that there are some stunningly good Japanese players plying their trade in Europe now and are definitely good enough for the Premier League. The Toon should take a look.

    • Tom Jones says:

      Rob, I take your point and you don’t have to tell me about the geography of Asia.

      Which players in particular should Newcastle take a closer look at?

  • Len Smith says:

    This may not be the big commercial breakthrough you expect. EPL is not as big in Japan as it is in for example South East Asia where it is massive. SEA is not going to care too much if we have a Japanese in or not. Commercially signing a Chinese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian would make way more sense. The Toon does have massive local support here but it’s based on a strong supporter network rather than marquee signings.

  • Sharpy17 says:

    A source at the club?! …. It must be true!!

  • Archie Brand says:

    I can see your point. A player from Asia and we only have the Antarctic market to crack.
    I saw a documentary recently where Vinson Massif Wanderers took on a team from the Bentley Sub Glacial Trench. Of course they had to use the old orange ball along with the longer studs. It was quite literally a walkover for the Trenchers as their team consistent entirely of Leopard Seals while the wanderers were mostly penguins with a couple of whales on the wings, playing VERY wide.
    I would imagine that if Ashley bought Yoshida, the defender would eat more at the staff canteen than the club would make on shirt sales.

  • simon says:

    Shirt selling exercise? That a joke? I’ve was in Japan for a year since a few weeks ago and I have not once seen anyone in a Honda, Kagawa or Nagatomo shirt, not once… and I had regularly hang with the football crowd and have been to several games of the Local team, if we buy Yoshida we will probably make 50 quid in shirt sells, Mike is better off looking at say Malaysia or Indonesia if he wants to sign someone to market.

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