Hearts make their move to sign Japanese forward Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa

Hearts have approached the Japanese club Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo aiming to sign forward Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa.

Monday, 27th December 2021, 10:58 am
Updated Monday, 27th December 2021, 11:13 am
Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa is a Hearts signing target.
Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa is a Hearts signing target.

Tynecastle officials are in negotiations with counterparts in northern Japan as they try to agree a transfer fee for the 23-year-old. Hearts are awaiting an indication of Consadole’s valuation before they submit a formal financial offer.

Ogashiwa is a young and prospering player in the J-League who has been playing as a central striker this season. He has managed seven goals in 30 league appearances as Consadole finished tenth in the table.

He is poised for an international debut next month after being named in the Japan squad for the Kirin Cup match against Uzbekistan, which takes place on January 21. Hearts are one of several clubs interesting in prising him away from his homeland.

They are attracted by his energy, industry and versatility. Ogashiwa is a hard-working forward who puts defenders under pressure. He can play anywhere along the front line and is used to a 3-4-3 formation with Consadole.

He is 5ft 6ins tall and is not a striker who relies on physical presence. Instead, his mobility and movement in between defenders make him a difficult opponent to track. He is comfortable playing out wide or in the No.10 role and uses technical ability to create openings in the final third.

If a deal can be agreed, Ogashiwa would bring much-needed competition in the centre-forward department at Tynecastle. French striker Armand Gnanduillet is expected to leave when the January transfer window opens and top goalscorer Liam Boyce is currently nursing a calf injury.

Ogashiwa’s capture would provide reinforcement for the second half of the campaign and ease some of the pressure on Boyce. The Northern Irishman will spend the next three weeks resting and recuperating during the Scottish Premiership’s winter break.

Hearts have already agreed terms to sign the Australian right-back Nathaniel Atkinson from Melbourne City. He will arrive as soon as a UK work permit is agreed.

Should it materialise, Ogashiwa’s signing would need to go through a similar vetting process before he can begin training and playing with the Edinburgh club.

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