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Old 07-11-2010, 10:41   #21
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Default Scouting Report - Takashi Usami
profiles one of Asia's next superstars...

By Cesare Polenghi
Nov 7, 2010 10:09:00 AM
Name: Takashi Usami
Age: 18
Nationality: Japanese
Club: Gamba Osaka
Position: Attacking Midfielder/Striker

Takashi Usami is another talent emerging from the youth system of Gamba Osaka. Born in the Kyoto prefecture, he joined Gambaís U15s in 2005.

In 2007 he was promoted to the their U18s youth team, while already a regular fixture at international level.

Usami made history in 2000 he made his Asian Champions League debut a couple of weeks after turning 17, scoring his first professional goal.

He participated in Japanís ill-fated 2009 World Cup campaign in Nigeria and is now a member of the Japan U19 team.

During this J-League campaign Usami has been a regular starter, playing 25 games and scoring nine goals, including crucial strikes against the Urawa Red Diamonds and cross-town rivals Cerezo Osaka.

Registered as a midfielder, Usami is in reality the prototype of the 21st century forward; besides a refined technique common to most Japanese players of his generation, he is quick, imaginative, tactically savvy and - considering his young age - physically fit.

In particular, he seems capable of finding the back of the net from a variety of areas, as evidenced by the variety in his goals.

There has been rumoured interest from European clubs but at the moment the 18 year-old is happy to showcase in his no.33 jersey at Gamba, with hopes to soon break into the senior national team set-up.

His performances have impressed the newly appointed Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni, who is said to be following the prodigious young talent closely.

And given the overall the well-documented dearth of top-class strikers in Japan, don't be surprised if the Italian decides to include Usami in his squad for the 2011 Asian Cup in January.
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