Two-time Japan World Cup goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima has agreed to join Scottish Premier League provided he is granted a work permit, the BBC reported Tuesday.
Kawashima, capped 72 times for Japan, was reported by BBC to have attended Dundee’s 1-0 home defeat to Ross County on Saturday, with Dundee manager Mixu Paatelainen quoted as saying Kawashima will bring “much needed experience” to the side.
“He’s been to major tournaments. It would be nice if there was a possibility of Eiji joining us because he would help our young goalkeepers with his experience.”
“It’s depending on a work permit. We’ve agreed everything with him but obviously we can’t sign the contract until the work permit issue has been solved. I don’t know how long it takes.”
The 32-year-old Kawashima, who left Standard Liege at the end of the last season after deciding not to renew his contract, has been looking for a new club in Europe and trained with Italian side Novarra as well as Leicester in the English Premier league over the past months.
Dundee is rooted the bottom of the Scottish top flight this season after nine losses in 13 games, conceding a league-worst 26 goals to sit two points behind 11th-placed Partick Thistle and six behind 10th-placed Motherwell.
“It’s not every day that that caliber of player is out of contract at this time the year but, luckily for us, that’s the situation,” said Paatelainen. “Looking forward to working with him, hopefully.”
Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic axed Kawashima from the national team squad for the World Cup Asian qualifiers back in August, citing the 2010 and 2014 custodian’s failure to find a new club. Kawashima has not been called up since.
Kawashima started his career at Omiya Ardija and moved to Nagoya Grampus before establishing himself at Kawasaki Frontale, winning the Japan starting berth from former Nagoya teammate Seigo Narazaki weeks before the South Africa World Cup to help them reach the last 16.
Kawashima joined newly promoted Lierse in Belgian top flight that summer and moved onto Standard in 2012. He made 68 appearances for the club but endured a disappointing World Cup in Brazil as Japan bowed out in the group stage. He lost his place at the club toward the end of last season.
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