• Kyodo

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Kashiwa Reysol defender Daisuke Suzuki, linked with Spanish side Rayo Vallecano in November, has left the J. League first-division club, the team announced Friday.

“I have a strong desire to face a new challenge in a new environment and thus reached this decision,” Suzuki said in a comment released by Reysol.

Suzuki has played 89 games and scored seven goals for Reysol in three seasons since moving from Albirex Niigata in 2013.

The 25-year-old said he “always had the will to one day play abroad” when the link surfaced with the La Liga side. Suzuki, who played in all 34 league games last season, helped Japan finish fourth at the 2012 London Olympics partnering Southampton’s Maya Yoshida.

The right-footed center-half Suzuki has been capped twice by Japan’s senior side.

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