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Does Mitoma Prove To Premier League Teams That The Right Players Can Succeed Even From Obscure Leagues?

Kaoru Mitoma is a Japanese footballer currently playing for Brighton & Hove Albion. This talented winger scored one goal in two matches during the 2022/23 season and is a good asset for the Seagulls’ side. However, in a league with so many stars, such as the English Premier League, Mitoma’s history is one of a kind. Read more about his biography and achievements, and see what his success means for other players.


Kaoru Mitoma could have started his professional career in Japan when he was 18 years old in 2016. Mitoma was invited to join Kawasaki Frontale’s professional team back then but decided to attend university instead. According to the player, going to university helped him become a better player and study subjects that are now instrumental, such as sports, nutrition, coaching, and more.

The Kawasaki Frontale was ready to welcome Kaoru Mitoma as soon as he left the university. Mitoma and Kawasaki Frontale finally signed a professional deal then. During the 2020 season, the Japanese winger was often in the sports headlines.

He scored 18 goals over 37 matches and 20 more before being contacted by Brighton & Hove Albion’s agents. Recently, he went to play with the Royal Union Saint Gilloise on loan.

Mitoma’s trajectory from an uneventful Japanese league to one of the most-watched leagues in the world deserves examination.

Rise To Stardom

In a country with little football tradition, Mitoma surely stands out from the pack. Still, Mitoma isn’t the only Japanese player in the EPL, or the only player coming from a minor league, for that matter. Every season, there’s a top-notch player coming up somewhere in the world.

If you follow Football betting all Leagues, you’ll see there’s always a killer player to bet on. These players usually end up in high-quality leagues, such as the EPL. As for other Japanese players in the EPL, there’s Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Yuta Nakayama (Huddersfield Town), and Daniel Matsuzaka (Weymouth). Great names from the past include Junichi Inamoto, Kazuyuki Toda, and Hidetoshi Nakata, among others.

Where The Money Goes

The top European leagues certainly have some of the wealthiest clubs in the world, and for those clubs, the world is an oyster in clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham, or Brighton, where everyone seems to come from a different country. They indeed have ammunition to shell out on stars like Leandro Trossard, or Rodrigo Betancourt, who were already shining in other European leagues.

Still, investing in undervalued players from even less valued leagues has proved worthwhile. It’s the same principle we use in economics: an investment is worthwhile when you take out more than you put into it. So, even if buying the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo could generate a lot of revenue, he’s still an insanely expensive player. So, there’s more profit to be made on promising players, such as Mitoma.

Foreign Power

Such an approach by managers and club owners can be felt when we look at the lineups in the EPL. Chelsea became the first English team where all players were foreigners. In fact, over 60% of players currently in the English Premier League are foreigners.

Still, there’s a limit to hiring what the Premier League rules consider “non-homegrown” players. In a squad with 25 players, at least eight of them must be national. However, there aren’t limits to the number of foreign players on the field.

It’s true that most foreign players in the league now come from traditionally strong countries, such as France, Spain, and Brazil. However, it’s also possible to find players from much less hyped leagues, like Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and Ghana.

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