Takuma Asano
Takuma Asano signed for Arsenal in June. Getty


  • The 21-year-old signed from Sanfrecce Hiroshima in June.
  • Japan begin their Olympic campaign on 4 August.

Arsenal signing Takuma Asano will miss the start of the 2015-16 season after being named in the Japan squad for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio Di Janeiro.

Asano, 21, became the club's second arrival of the summer transfer window, joining the Gunners from Sanfrecce Hiroshima. While it remains unclear if he will remain with the club or leave on loan for the upcoming season, the forward will be part of his country's campaign to win Olympic gold in Rio in August.

The Japanese Football Association confirmed his place in a squad that includes just two other players plying their trade in Europe in Takumi Minamino of Red Bull Salzburg and Yuya Kubo of Young Boys.

Asano will miss most of Arsenal's preseason campaign with the Japan squad gathering for training from 19 July onwards. They begin their campaign on 4 August against Nigeria and, should they reach the final, will remain in Rio until the final on 20 August.

Arsenal begin their Premier League campaign against Liverpool on 14 August.

Premier League clubs are under no obligation to release their players for the competition but the Gunners have permitted Asano's participation without any issue. The club have however blocked Nigeria's attempts to select Alex Iwobi for the competition. The 19-year-old broke into Arsene Wenger's first-team last season with Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia eager to include the forward in his plans.

The Nigeria coach however has revealed that despite his best efforts, Arsenal and Iwobi's father have closed the door on the possibility of the player representing his country in Rio.

"Alex Iwobi is not coming. I tried to call his father, but he wasn't picking up my calls," Nigeria Under- 23 boss Sampson Siasia was quoted as saying by Nigeria's Daily Post. "He used to call me frequently when he wanted his son to play for the country, but now that we need his son for the Olympics football tournament, he is not picking up my calls."