Hertha Berlin sign Genki Haraguchi as Bundesliga adds another Japanese import
Hertha Berlin have signed Japan forward Genki Haraguchi from J-League leaders Urawa Red Diamonds on a four-year contract, the Bundesliga club said on Monday.
The 23-year-old Haraguchi, who has won three caps but is not a member of his country’s squad for next month’s World Cup, scored 33 goals in 162 J-League games and will join former Urawa teammate Hajime Hosogai in Berlin.
“Genki Haraguchi is a versatile forward who can play both left and right or in the centre,” Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz said in a statement.
“Obviously he will need to adapt and will need some time as everything is new for him,” Hertha coach Jos Luhukay said. “But with Hajime Hosogai he has a former (Urawa Red Diamonds) teammate who will help him adapt.”
Hertha finished in 11th place in the recently concluded Bundesliga season.
Haraguchi joins a list of notable Japanese in the Bundesliga that includes World Cup-bound Shinji Okazaki, who had a breakout year with Mainz, leading the club with 15 goals and finishing in a tie for seventh in the Bundesliga goal-scoring chart. It also includes his new Hertha Berlin teammate, midfielder Hosogai, who made a club-high 33 Bundesliga starts this year.
Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover) and Takashi Inui (Eintracht Frankfurt) held down at least semi-regular roles in Germany in 2013/14, as well.
Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE
Published: May 26, 2014 04:00 AM