Arsenal striker Takuma Asano's loan spell at Stuttgart has been renewed, both clubs confirmed on Thursday (22 June).
The Japan international, rated highly by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, will head back to the Mercedes-Benz Arena for a second successive season after scoring four goals in 27 appearances last term as Hannes Wolf's side won the 2. Bundesliga to secure an immediate return to the top tier of German football.
"Takuma Asano has re-joined Bundesliga side Stuttgart on loan for the 2017-18 season," Arsenal announced via their official website. "We'd like to wish him all the best for the upcoming campaign."
A July 2016 signing from J-League outfit Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Asano was promptly loaned to Stuttgart last summer after Wenger revealed that his request for a work permit had failed.
"We got the work permit turned down because he didn't cost £50m, that's one of the rules that you have to know in England," the Frenchman lamented.
"Therefore, he has to go and play somewhere else. I believe highly in him and I will take care of him that he gets to the right place."
Stuttgart director of football Jan Schindelmeiser confirmed earlier this month that Asano would remain in Germany after talks with the player, his agent and Arsenal.
According to Bild, the 22-year-old could have returned to north London had he made less than 25 appearances in 2016-17, had Stuttgart failed to bounce straight back to the Bundesliga or had he become eligible for Premier League action. None of those conditions were met, paving the way for another campaign away from the Emirates Stadium.
Asano has made seven senior appearances for his native Japan since debuting in August 2015, not enough to qualify him for a work permit. He is the second senior player to depart Arsenal so far this summer, with forgotten forward Yaya Sanogo having been released alongside young trio Stefan O'Connor, Kristopher da Graca and Kostas Pileas.
Bosnian left-back Sead Kolasinac arrived on a free transfer from Schalke, while Wojciech Szczesny and Joel Campbell have finished their respective loan spells with AS Roma and Sporting Lisbon.