• Kyodo


Former Serie A striker Takayuki Morimoto will join Kawasaki Frontale on a two-year deal starting Feb.1, the J. League first-division side announced Thursday.

Morimoto, 27, scored five goals in 27 games in J2 this season, his third year with JEF United Chiba. He will return to the J. League top flight for the first time in 11 seasons, having left for Italian club Catania from Tokyo Verdy in 2006 — a year after they were relegated.

Morimoto is the youngest player to appear and score in J1, having made his debut for Verdy in 2004 age 15 years, 10 months, 10 days as a junior-high school student and scoring within two months.

Morimoto scored 19 goals in 104 games in Serie A for Catania and Novarra over 6-1/2 years and had a short spell on loan at Al Nasr in the United Arab Emirates before joining Chiba in the summer of 2013.

He has three goals in 10 games for Japan.

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