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Striker Utaka joins FC Tokyo on loan from Hiroshima

Kyodo

FC Tokyo have signed former Nigeria international striker and last season’s J. League first-division joint top scorer Peter Utaka on loan from Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the club said Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Utaka, who bagged 19 goals for Hiroshima in 2016 to share the Golden Boot with Vissel Kobe’s Brazilian forward Leandro, joins the Gasmen on a contract through the end of the season.

Utaka joined Hiroshima on loan from Shimizu S-Pulse last season. Hiroshima signed him permanently on Tuesday before promptly loaning him out to Tokyo. He will not be eligible to play for Tokyo against Hiroshima in competitive matches during his loan period.

Utaka has scored 28 goals in 61 appearances in the Japanese top flight. He had also played in Belgium, Denmark and China before arriving in Japan.

In a bid to win their maiden championship, FC Tokyo have bolstered their squad this term with a number of key signings, including all-time J1 leading scorer Yoshito Okubo.

Tokyo kicked off the 2017 league campaign with a 1-0 win away to reigning champions Kashima Antlers on Saturday.