Barcelona signs Japan star Hiroki Abe


Catalan club Barcelona has signed 20-year old Japan winger Hiroki Abe from the Kashima Antlers of the J-League for 1.1 million euros ($1.25 million).

They say he can play anywhere across the front line, but “has predominantly been used on the left flank”.

He has now been assigned to Barca’s reserve team, which plays in the third-tier Spanish Segunda B.

Barcelona said Abe had signed a four-year contract with a 40 million euro buyout clause which would rise to 100 million euros if he is promoted to the first team.

Barca says Abe “is considered to be Japanese football’s big promise ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games,” Barca said on their website.

He was the J-League’s young player of the year in 2018 and started both legs as Kashima won the Asian Champions League title in the same season. He made 79 appearances for the Antlers over the last three seasons scoring 10 times.

Abe made his international debut in the Copa America last month.

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