Okazaki scored ten times in 27 matches during the 2008 J. League season and also represented S-Pulse in the J. League Cup Final, where the team lost 2–0 to Oita Trinita. He continued his promising goalscoring in the 2009 and 2010 seasons and, in January 2011, was signed by German side VfB Stuttgart of the Bundesliga.
On 1 July 2013, Okazaki moved to 1. FSV Mainz 05. He scored his first goal for Mainz on his debut in a 3–2 win against his former club Stuttgart on the opening matchday of the 2013–14 Bundesliga season. At the end of the season he ended with 15 league goals.
Reyes was one of the most expensive signings in the club's history when he arrived in the January window but while undoubtedly talented he proved frustratingly inconsistent. His greatest contribution was the role he played in Arsenal's run to the 2006 Champions League final, while his lowest point was getting sent off in the 2005 FA Cup final. Having scored 16 goals in 69 Premier League appearances Reyes moved to Real Madrid on loan amid reports of him feeling homesick. 5/10
Handed the Arsenal number 9 shirt, there were understandably high hopes for the Korean. They were clearly misplaced, which is perhaps why he was reassigned the number 30 shirt a year later. Chu-Young would spend three years on Arsenal's books, play seven games and score one goal. In the League Cup. 1/10
Okazaki became the most prolific Japanese player in Bundesliga history on 13 September 2014, scoring his 27th and 28th league goals in Mainz's 3–1 win over Hertha Berlin.
Okazaki is expected to play a bigger role for the Champions elect due to Jamie Vardy’s suspension. Leicester take on Swansea on Sunday and Okazaki could well start up front.
Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic picked Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki in a 25-man squad for the upcoming Kirin Cup on Thursday. First-team regulars Shinji Kagawa of Dortmund and AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda were also selected, while there were first call-ups for Kawasaki Frontale’s under-23 ...
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Leicester City players crowded around a television inside the house of teammate Jamie Vardy, locked arm in arm, watching the action 160 km away. And when the final whistle blew at Stamford Bridge, they raised their arms in triumph. One of the greatest sporting ...
Best remembered for scoring the winning goal at Old Trafford that secured Arsenal the 2001/02 Premier League title against Manchester United. The Euro 2000 winner scored at a decent rate for the Gunners but perhaps not as regularly as his price tag meant he should have. 6/10
Now aged 23, Sanogo has shown glimpses of his talent but is yet to become a regular goalscorer. 4/10
The 30-year-old has totally bought into the idea that Leicester’s players work hard for each other. He has completed 90 minutes just three times this season but his work rate cannot be called into question.
The Foxes have secured entry into next season’s Champions League - an incredible feat in itself - and are on the verge of becoming the first team not named Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea to win the Premier League since 1995.
Arsenal had hoped to hear back from Vardy before he departed for France, but The Independent understands that the Gunners have not been contacted by Vardy or his representatives and the move could now be in doubt given that England manager Roy Hodgson has banned player agents from attending the team hotel during the Euros.
“It is difficult to say what I would do if I were in his position,” Okazaki added.
“Yes. This morning we clap him and say ‘now you can understand what I say!’”
“I remember scoring [against West Ham in August] because it was very important for me and it was an important goal for the team also.
After impressing in Mexico, Vela was linked with various European clubs before Arsenal secured his signature. However due to work permit issues he only started playing for the Gunners a couple of years later. Vela wasn't worth the wait. He scored just 11 goals for the club in all competitions before departing. 3/10
Watch Leicester City take on Southampton at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, April 3 live on Super Sunday from 12.30pm.
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:12, 14 August 2016 (UTC).
Ozaki has made 32 appearances this season, scoring five goals, including a spectacular winner against Newcastle United on March 14.
“I always see Jamie on the pitch and he spots me every match, I pass to Jamie he passes it to me and when he goes pressing so do I. It’s a good combination.”
Having begun his career at Shimizu S-Pulse, he spent five years in Germany with Stuttgart and Mainz before moving to the King Power Stadium last summer, where he now finds himself in unchartered territory.
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“The Japanese people didn’t know Leicester before this season, but now many people know who we are now.”
Okazaki, Shinji - Leicester (ENG)
“Previously it was always ‘yes, yes, yes’ but he never understood what I said.”
And he is desperate to add to his five goals in the run-in and continue his blossoming partnership with Jamie Vardy.
“But even in a team that plays possession soccer, he has that sudden burst of speed and there are a lot of players at Arsenal who will notice that right away and play to that strength of his, like the way they did with (Danny) Welbeck.
Wenger went a year without signing a striker before collecting a few in one season. Among those arriving for the 2005/06 season was Adebayor. Arsenal fans can't stand him now due to the manner of his departure for Manchester City but they can't deny that the Togo international was one of their better recent strikers. Having arrived in the January window he scored on his debut and amassed 46 goals in 104 Premier League appearances. 7/10
Okazaki was included in Japan's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and appeared as a substitute in all four of the team's matches. He scored once in the final Group E match, a 3–1 defeat of Denmark, to send the Japanese into the second round.
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Vardy joined the England squad to travel to France for Euro 2016 on Monday (Getty)
With Okazaki in Japan ahead of the national team’s Kirin Cup match against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday, the Leicester striker has tipped Vardy to be a success if he moves to the Emirates.
But with the backing of a raucous King Power Stadium behind them, he is confident the support will power them to victory.
The expression on Okazaki’s face after he struck the goal was one of the best images in what has been a glorious season for Leicester.
On 30 January 2011, Okazaki signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Stuttgart. On 17 February 2011, clearance to play for the club was granted for Okazaki by FIFA. He made his competitive debut for VfB on the same night in a Europa League match against Benfica. On 20 February 2011, Okazaki made his Bundesliga debut for VfB against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Okazaki scored his first goal against Hannover 96, which he scored from outside the box.
In a scene that would have seemed absurd a year ago, Leicester captain Wes Morgan collected the English Premier League trophy on Saturday after one of the most improbable turnarounds by a sports team. “It’s the best time of my life,” Morgan, who joined ...
Bendtner would become something of a cult figure at Arsenal but that owed more to his unrelenting self-confidence rather than his ability in front of goal. What was most remarkable about the Dane's ego was that Wenger seemed to think it was warranted, despite little evidence to suggest it was. There were 108 league appearances, 24 Premier League goals and three loan spells before Bendtner finally left Arsenal for Wolfsburg in 2014. 4/10
France international Giroud has been Arsenal's most consistent scorer since Adebayor, reaching double figures in the Premier League in all four seasons he has spent at the club. However his no-frills style of play have failed to endear him to supporters. 7/10