Barcelona signs Japanese Forward Hiroki Abe

La Liga giants Barcelona have signed Japanese forward Hiroki Abe from Kashima Antlers.

The 20-year-old forward has played for Kashima since 2017. Last year, he was chosen as the J.League ‘Rookie of the Year,’ and is considered one of the best young talents in the country.

After representing Japan at youth levels for a number of years, he was first called up to the senior team by coach Hajime Moriyasu for the 2019 Copa America. He is also expected to be one of the key players for the Samurai Blues during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo next summer.

This move comes shortly after Abe’s countryman Takefusa Kubo completed a move to Barcelona’s arch-rivals, Real Madrid.

Upon his arrival in Catalonia, Abe will be expected to join Barcelona B in the Spanish Second Division to gain experience.

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