Kaoru Mitoma has decided to stay with Brighton. Despite being linked to big clubs in Europe, Mitoma chose to stay. He has signed a lengthy extension with Brighton.
Brighton announced the signing of Mitoma to an extension on the club’s official website on July 21. According to the official website, he has signed a four-year contract until 2027.
The Seagulls were quite happy to re-sign Mitoma. First, head coach Roberto De Jervi said, “This is great news. He’s one of our best players,” and the general manager gave a thumbs up, saying, “We’re going to have a player of Mitoma’s caliber. It’s fantastic news,” he said.
The move to Brighton was not unexpected. Global sports outlet The Athletic reported, “Mitoma and Brighton have signed a new contract, although he is currently under contract until 2025. Mitoma will play for Brighton for another four to five years. The new contract will make him the highest paid player at Brighton.”
Mitoma joined Brighton from Kawasaki Frontale in 2021. After a year-long loan to German Bundesliga side Union Berlin, he got his first taste of the Premier League at Brighton.
He started the 2022-23 season in the rotation, but gradually increased his playing time to compete for a starting spot. He energized the Brighton left wing with his straight but explosive dribbling and occasional attacking runs.
Scored his team’s third goal in Brighton’s win at home against West Ham in Round 26 of the 2022-23 English Premier League season to drive a wedge in the victory, and followed it up with three consecutive attacking points (one goal, two assists) in the eighth round tie against Crystal Palace. He established himself as the perfect first-choice striker for Brighton.
At the time, De Jong said, “He defends well and he plays as a team. He dribbles and shoots for 90 minutes and shakes the opposition. When the team tries to play possession football, he moves from the flanks to the center and gets involved in the numbers game. He’s also an excellent forward passer. One day he will be a force to be reckoned with in the top Premier League.”
Noting Mitoma’s performance in England, ‘Bissaker’ said: “He’s a great all-round player. He can play on the wing as well as in the attacking midfield. He’s attractive to Premier League clubs,” he said, predicting that big clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool will take notice.
This season has been no different. He now has three goals and three assists in eight Premier League games. An assist in the opening game against promoted Luton Town was followed by a goal and an assist against Wolverhampton. He rattled the net with a long-range solo run, seemingly possessed by Lionel Messi, the ‘God of Soccer’ at the time. He followed that up with a multi-goal performance against Bournemouth, helping Brighton to a 3-1 win.
The local media even compared Mitoma to Son Heung-min (Tottenham) at one point. BBC pundit Garth Crooks said: “Mitoma has all the makings of a top-class player. He plays very similarly to Son,” analyzing that “he’s not afraid of opponents, he can see the pass, and he wants to score.”
Brighton manager Roberto De Jervi agreed: “Mitoma plays very similarly to Son Heung-min. He’s not afraid of opponents, he can see the pass, and he wants to score goals.” Chester City manager Pep Guardiola also praised Mitoma. “I would say that Mitoma’s impact on the Premier League is huge, last season was special,” Guardiola said.
His meteoric rise has led to transfer speculation. According to Spanish outlet Pichajes, “Manchester City and Manchester United are interested in Brighton winger Mitoma. They could try to sign him this winter transfer window. Both clubs have made Mitoma a key target.”
Even the British pundits were lavish in their praise. BBC pundit Crooks was full of praise for Mitoma, saying, “Manchester United have Jadon Sancho and Anthony. I don’t see the quality or ability in Mitoma that I see in Sancho or Anthony. Old Trafford is not an easy stage, but from what I have seen, Mitoma is the right player for Manchester United.”
“Mitoma would be a perfect fit for Manchester United,” said British publication The Sun. He would be a much better option than the two wingers Eric ten Hagh has at his disposal.”
As rumors of a move to the Premier League’s biggest clubs swirled, the Spanish Primera Liga also took notice. Real Madrid and Barcelona, both in the Spanish top flight, have been linked to Mitoma.
However, he has stayed at Brighton to continue his challenge. Brighton manager David Weir said: “Mitoma adapted to the Premier League last season and quickly became one of Brighton’s key players. His success reflects the hard work of the department who were instrumental in recruiting him. Mitoma gained important experience and developed into a player who is a big part of Roberto’s team. I have no doubt that the Brighton fans will be delighted to see him re-sign.”
Mitoma’s current price tag is high. His value has been increasing due to his performances in the Premier League and transfer rumors linking him with top teams. According to soccer statistics company TransferMarkt, Mitoma’s price tag is estimated at €50 million (approximately KRW 71.6 billion). This is yet another reason to keep an eye on Mitoma in the Premier League. 먹튀검증
Mitoma, meanwhile, was also a key player for the Japanese national team. While he did not play in the October A match to preserve his fitness, he had a strong September on the road in Europe.
Japan defeated Germany 4-1 in an international friendly at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany. Germany lost to Japan in the group stage of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar last November. They were looking for revenge on this day, but came up short.
The home team came out with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Kai Havertz was up front, with Florian Wirz in the second line. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Janet supported the flanks. In the midfield, Ilkay Gundogan and Emre Can were chosen. The back four consisted of Niko Schlottback, Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Zuerle, and Jozua Kimmich. Marc-Andre ter Stegen wore the goalkeeping gloves.
The away team, Japan, came out with a similar 4-2-3-1. Ayase Ueda started up front, with Kaoru Mitoma, Daichi Kamada, and Junya Ito in the second line. The midfield was guarded by Wataru Endo and Hidemasa Morita. The back four consisted of Hiroki Ito, Yukinari Sugawara, Ko Itakura, and Takehiro Tomiyasu. Keisuke Osako was in goal.
Germany applied strong forward pressure early in the first half and succeeded in stealing the ball from Japan, who were playing the ball out of the back. Habertz got the ball in front of the goal, but the Japanese were quick to cover and deny Germany the chance.
In the 11th minute, Japan took an unexpected lead. Junya Ito was the hero. He got to a cross from the right before Rudiger. Despite the lack of shooting angle, the ball was exquisitely placed past Thier Stegen. Japan took the lead with the first goal.
The Japanese offense continued. In the 18th minute, Ito Junya once again broke into the German box. She fired a powerful half-volley that was straight at Thier Stegen.
After regrouping, Germany broke down the Japanese defense with a passing play in the 19th minute, and Wirz passed the ball to Zane in the no-mark. With a one-on-one opportunity, Zane found the back of the net with a left-footed ground ball. It was the equalizer that tied the game.
In the 21st minute, Mitoma’s fantastic dribbling breakthrough shone through, as he neutralized two opposing defenders on the left flank before feeding the striker in the center. However, Germany’s quick defensive cover saved the day.
After conceding the equalizer, Japan continued to attack. In the 22nd minute, Sugawara’s cross from the right flank was met by Ito, but the ball found its way to an unmarked Ueda, who finished to complete the scoring. The German defense’s concentration was lacking.
Germany struggled with Japan’s forward pressure. After losing the ball in the back, Zühle made a late run at Ueda, but was fouled. The referee showed Zühle a yellow card. In the 30th minute, Zane created the decisive chance after breaking down the right flank. After stripping the opposition defense, you sent a grounded cross to Birz in the center. However, Birz’s shot was high and the chance was ruined.
The attack continued, once again utilizing Zane. Two minutes later, a similar opportunity arose, but this time the German striker didn’t get the ball. The Germans claimed a penalty on the play, but it wasn’t awarded.
The German defense continued to be shaky. They were successful in stopping Mitoma’s dribble, but continued to give away the ball in the secondary. In the 41st minute, Germany committed a passing error and Ueda had a quick one-on-one opportunity. However, a super save from Thier Stegen averted the danger.
Meanwhile, the Japanese defense remained focused. A German counter-attack led to a crucial chance, but Japan’s cover play shone through. The first half ended with Japan leading 2-1, and boos rained down on the Volkswagen Arena.
Germany faltered again at the start of the second half. After an uneventful buildup, Thier Stegen took a kick that was intercepted by Junya Ito. Junya Ito immediately attempted a left-footed curling shot, but it went wide of the target. It was a giddy moment for Germany.
Two minutes later, Junya Ito found space in the back and set up Ueda for a crucial chance, but his shot was blocked by Thier Stegen. Morita then took the ensuing rebound, but his shot hit the side netting. Ten minutes later, Mitoma tried a powerful shot from the left, but it was straight at Stegen.
Japan counterattacked in the 25th minute. Substitute Takuma Asano broke down the left flank and had a one-on-one chance that was blocked again by Stegen. Mitoma’s subsequent shot was also straight at goal.
Germany continued to test the Japanese goal in search of an equalizer, but the chances didn’t come. Japan’s defensive focus continued to shine, neutralizing German attacks.
In the 45th minute, Japan broke through. Robin Gojens lost the ball to Takefusa Kubo, giving him a one-on-one opportunity. Kubo didn’t get greedy and gave way to Asano, who cut in from the side and slotted the ball into the back of the net. Japan made it 3-1. Kubo scored the game-winning goal and Japan shocked the world with another World Cup victory over Germany.