Why would Inamoto leave Arsenal on a free ?

Last updated : 09 June 2002 By Nicosia Gooner

I thought that we, the Arsenal fans had more reason than any other fans to ignore all the newspapers speculation or should I say crap ? have we not had enough newspapers over the years to last us a lifetime ? if the newspapers were to be believed the following players would have been away from Highbury by now :

1) Vieira – Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona etc.

2) Parlour – Sunderland, West Ham, Newvastle etc.

3) Cole – Juventus

4) Keown – Newcastle, Fulham

5) Ljungberg – Juventus

6) Jeffers – anywhere but Arsenal

7) Bergkamp – PSV, Feynoord, Ajax

8) Wiltord – back to France

9) Lauren – back to Spain

10) Henry – Real Madrid, Barcelonal or even back to Italy

11) Edu – to Spain, Portugal and back to Brazil

12) Pennant – anywhere but Arsenal

13) Luznhy – back to Ukraine

14) Campbell - ???

15) Wright – anywhere because Arsenal are buying other goalies

16) Kanu – Fulham, Spain, Italy

17) Stepanovs – anywhere

Now I am going over the top about the above players ? didn't the papers write countless of articles about them leaving ?

Has anyone left ? No, so as usual the papers have once again got it wrong !

As you can see from the article below, Inamoto signed a 4 year contract for £3.5. Why would Arsenal let him go on the free 12 months later, at a time where he is producing some wonderful performances for Japan ? he is Japan's top scorer in the World Cup, voted Man of the Match in both matches and has received some wonderful headlines. So, has Wenger and Dein gone mad ? surely, even if they had decided that he should go, why allow him to go for nothing ?

Has Wenger or Dein done anything wrong since their partnership was formed ? our club has gone to heights that we never thought were possible under their leadership and this will continue for years to come.

The question is : Do you believe the newspapers or Arsenal's management ? History tells me that the Arsenal management are much more reliable, what do you think ?

Arsenal take plunge in Japanese market

Wenger goes back to the J-League for a £3.5m midfielder

David Plummer
Tuesday July 24, 2001
The Guardian

Arsenal have taken their summer spending to £26m after Junichi Inamoto yesterday became the first Japanese player to join the Premiership in a permanent deal following a £3.5m transfer.

Inamoto was paraded at Arsenal's London Colney training ground, with interest so intense that more than 100 members of the media from the Far East were present, a total which easily exceeded the televised unveilings of such high-profile Gunners signings as Sol Campbell and Thierry Henry.

The Japanese, a 21-year-old defensive midfielder, was first spotted as a teenager by Arsène Wenger during the Highbury manager's days in the J-League and his transfer to the north London club will greatly enhance Arsenal's potential in the lucrative and rapidly expanding Far East market.

Inamoto might not quite be in the David Beckham league, but his rusty-coloured moptop haircut is designed to make him instantly recognisable.

He said: "Blonds are supposed to stand out and that is why I have my hair this colour. I want to stand out on the pitch."

His four-year deal starts with the baseball-loving Japanese international, capped 22 times, travelling with his new colleagues to their pre-season tour of Austria today, despite having played a full 90 minutes for his former club Gamba Osaka on Saturday.

Wenger, who indicated this fifth capture of the summer would be his last before the Gunners' new assault on the title, said: "I have seen a lot of Inamoto to know that he has the ability to become a very strong player and a real force in the Premiership.

"Having travelled in the other direction when I went to the J-League, I know it is very difficult when you move to another country. You have to be mentally very strong but Inamoto is a player who I saw at the recent Confederations Cup and I was very impressed with.

"I knew a little bit about him when I was in Japan but he has developed very well and I know we are buying a player of considerable talent."

Inamoto will almost certainly miss the start of the Premiership season as he will be called up for Japan's friendly against Australia on August 15, three days before the big kick-off.

His absence from Arsenal's opener at Middlesbrough underlines the fact that his marketing potential off the pitch may be just as important as his physical presence on it.

Inamoto, who will probably play a small part in tomorrow's friendly against the Turkish side Kocaelispor near Innsbruck, said he is relishing the chance to pioneer Japanese football in the Premiership. "There are a lot of players in Japan who have the qualities to play here but naturally I'm very proud to be the first one," he said.

"I need to work very hard on my game because the Premiership is a tough league which is watched all over Japan and, as such, I need to do well to stay in the national team."

Inamoto will be joined in the Premiership by another Japanese international, the striker Akinori Nishizaw, who is on a 12-month loan to Bolton from Cerezo Osaka.