Kaoru Mitoma the man who could be heading to European football

As we get ready for what will hopefully be a more successful J League season for all, one to look out for is the 
Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Kaoru Mitoma. The 23-yeard-old in his first season received the most votes in the J-League best 11. 

Almost MVP 

Although Kaoru missed out on the MVP Award last season to the goal machine that was Kashiwa Reysol striker Michael Olunga with the forward topping the goal charts with 28 goals. He had a very impressive season, one which am sure would have had scouts around the world sitting up and taking note. 

As he was selected in the leagues best 11 and was close to being named MVP at the first time of asking you could forgive him for being confident but he remains humble as he told the Japan Times

It’s an honor to be selected with so many good players nominated. I’m grateful to everyone who voted for me. I wasn’t aiming for MVP … but of course I would have been happy if I was selected. I think Olunga deserved the award.

I knew if I didn’t succeed with the chances I was given I wouldn’t play, that’s how high the level of competition was in the team. 

A great talent 

His short-term aim is to kick on from this great first season with Frontale and after a record-breaking season, they will love to regain the title. It must not be forgotten after these impressive displays they will be one to look out for in the new look Asian Champions League. 

The energetic youngster came in as a graduate who came from the University of Tsukuba looked ready and eager. He stood out from other players in their first season and this is what could help propel him in the game. 

In the 2020 season, he played a big role for the best club in the country by a long way, this was seen with him playing 30 matches, 11 of which he started. In this time he scored 13 times as Kawasaki Frontale won the title by 18 points. 

This was, of course, the season for youngsters to take their chances with the busy fixture schedule as we saw players like Tomoki Takamine and Takuro Kaneko at Consadole Sapporo have good years in their first season in senior football, there are many more examples too.  

The chance for five substitutes definitely made it easier for these players to get a chance but while many did well Mitoma stood out and looked like he had been playing for many years at this level. 

Another great stat is that his 13 goals scored last season matched the record for the most goals scored by a rookie in their first season. A great start when you remember that Mitoma is not even a striker, these great attacking displays have you thinking it can not be long for him to get his call up to the national side.

As am sure there will be European scouts watching to see how he develops they will be aware shining in the J League is one thing but standing out for your country is what really gets people talking. His skills and desire am sure will fit in well with how Moriyasu likes to play. 

As with players like Takefusa Kubo, his main strength is his dribbling ability and his composure on the ball. This is not all he is about as he can run with the ball well but his movement on and off the ball is what makes him stand out. 

He is then the one to look out for but clubs might wait to see how he gets on in his second season before they put in those bids. After this first season, defenders will give him more attention, so that will be an extra challenge to overcome but do not be shocked if you see Mitoma lining up for Japan and a European side in the next few seasons. 


  1. Swansea, Crystal Palace or Brentford can target him

  2. Hopefully he will be coming to Celtic. We want another Japanese player who can be a hero like Shunsuke Nakamura

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