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What ever happened to… Junichi Inamoto?

JUNICHI INAMOTO

Factfile

Full name: Junichi Inamoto
Date of birth: 18 September 1979 (age 34)
Place of birth: Yusui, Kagoshima, Japan
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 1?2 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Playing career summary

A part of Arsenal’s 2001/02 Championship winning squad, albeit with no league appearances, Inamoto was a great hope back home as part of Japan’s emerging generation of footballing stars. He went on to play for Fulham, West Brom and Cardiff in the English set-up before bouncing across Europe. Now back in the J-League playing for Kawasaki Frontale, Inamoto never really lived up to his potential.

Inamoto made his name at Gamba Osaka, making his debut at the age of 18, before playing 143 games for his boyhood club. He then moved to Arsenal on loan, where he only made four cup appearances for the Gunners, but it was enough to get him a move to England and a two year loan spell at Fulham, following the 2002 World Cup, in Japan and South Korea, in which he scored twice.

Following Fulham, he signed permanently for West Brom. Inamoto signed with West Bromwich Albion for a decidedly small £200,000 transfer fee, which was only to be paid once he had made an appearance for the Midlands club. Inamoto was loaned to Cardiff City for the latter part of the 2004–05 season, and impressed, being recalled to play a role in West Brom’s survival campaign in the Premiership. In 2005–06 he was a regular in the West Brom side, and was called up to the Japan squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the first Albion player to play in the tournament for 20 years.

Following this, he left England and had spells in Turkey with Galatasaray(2006/07), Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt(2007/09) and then Rennes(2009/10) in France. He then signed for Kawasaki Frontale on 11 January 2010, where he still plays today.

Inamato has made 83 games for his country, scoring five goals, including the two at the 2002 World Cup. His last international goal came in 2009 and has been involved in three World Cup squads.

Full list of clubs

Years Team Apps (Goals)

1997–2004 Gamba Osaka 105 (14)
2001–2002  Arsenal (loan) 0 (0)
2002–2004  Fulham (loan) 41 (4)
2004–2006 West Bromwich Albion 28 (0)
2004–2005 Cardiff City (loan) 14 (0)
2006–2007 Galatasaray 25 (0)
2007–2009 Eintracht Frankfurt 43 (0)
2009–2010 Rennes 5 (0)
2010– Kawasaki Frontale 60 (2)

National team

1995 Japan U-17 3 (0)
1998–1999 Japan U-20 11 (4)
1998–2000 Japan U-23 15 (5)
2000– Japan 83 (5)

About Edward Seaman

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My name is Edward Seaman and I am a freelance Journalist. I am also a student at the University of Lincoln. Massive Norwich City fan and season ticket holder. To achieve you need to believe.

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