1 October 2014 11:43
Mike Havenaar has been recalled to the Japan squad after nearly a year away for their upcoming friendlies with Jamaica and Brazil.
The Cordoba striker has not featured for the national team since a 1-0 defeat to Belarus in October 2013, missing out on a place in their World Cup squad.
Havenaar’s poor form in front of goal had seen him overlooked by former coach Alberto Zaccheroni but new boss Javier Aguirre is keen to give the 27-year-old a chance.
Aguirre has also recalled Shinji Kagawa after the Borussia Dortmund man missed last month’s draw with Venezuela and loss to Uruguay due to concussion.
Kagawa’s form dipped at Manchester United but he has begun to show his qualities since returning to the Bundesliga.
Three uncapped players – Gen Shojim, Tsukasa Shiotani and Yu Kobayashi – are also included in Aguirre’s 23-man squad as he continues to assess his options ahead of the Asian Cup.
However, captain Makoto Hasebe is again omitted as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury.
Japan play Jamaica in Niigata on October 10 before facing Brazil in Singapore four days later.
Japan squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Shuichi Gonda (Tokyo), Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds)
Defenders: Hiroki Mizumoto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter), Daigo Nishi (Kashima Antlers), Kosuke Ota (Tokyo), Tsukasa Shiotani (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart), Maya Yoshida (Southampton).
Midfielders: Hajime Hosogai (Hertha Berlin), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Ryota Morioka (Vissel Kobe), Masato Morishige (Tokyo), Gaku Shibasaki (Kashima Antlers), Junya Tanaka (Sporting Lisbon).
Forwards: Mike Havenaar (Cordoba), Keisuke Honda (Milan), Yoichiro Kakitani (Basel), Yu Kobayashi (Kawasaki Frontale), Yoshinori Muto (Tokyo), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz).