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UAE’s Al Ain sign Japanese forward Shoya Nakajima on loan


Abu Dhabi: Thirteen-time UAE Pro League champions Al Ain FC announced on Saturday the signing of Japanese forward Shoya Nakajima on loan from Portuguese giants FC Porto.

The 26-year-old forward joins Al Ain for six months and will feature in the second round of the UAE Pro League and the 2021 AFC Champions League.

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“Nakajima has the skills and the qualities that we need this coming period,” said Al Ain’s head coach Pedro Emmanuel. “He will be able to make a difference with the team.”

After starting his career with Tokyo Verdy in 2012, Nakajima moved on loan to J2 League outfit Kataller Toyama before signing for FC Tokyo, with who he stayed for three seasons. He then moved to Portugal’s Portimonense and after two years, he had a short spell with Qatar's Al Duhail.

Nakajima, who made his international debut for Japan in 2018, returned to Portugal to join Porto in 2019, helping them win the Portuguese league last season.

“I’m so pleased and proud to play for one of the best clubs in Asia,” said Nakajima. “I am aware of all the challenges waiting for me while playing for the only UAE team that have won the AFC Champions League title.

“I experienced abundant challenges while playing for several clubs, and each time I overcome them because of the passion I have for football.

“Today, I have a new challenge with a team with ambitions that never soar below the skies.”

Photo: Al Ain FC

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