Ryota Morioka joins Belgian champions Anderlecht

Kyodo

Reigning Belgian first division champions Anderlecht announced the acquisition of Japanese midfielder Ryota Morioka from fellow Belgian club Waasland-Beveren on Tuesday.

After a spell with Polish side Slask Wroclaw in 2016, the 26-year-old Morioka moved to Waasland-Beveren in June and was called up to the national squad for the first time in three years for Japan’s friendlies against Brazil and Belgium in November.

“Welcome, Ryota Morioka,” the club said on their website.

“The Purple & White have reached an agreement with Waasland-Beveren regarding the transfer of 26-year-old Ryota Morioka to the Astridpark. Morioka will be the first Japanese ever to play for RSC Anderlecht.”

According to Belgian newspaper La Libre, the contract runs for three and a half years through June 2021.

Morioka, who started his professional career with Vissel Kobe in the J. League first division in 2010, scored seven goals and recorded 11 assists in 24 league games this season.

Anderlecht won a record-extending 34th Belgian league title last year and are currently third on the Jupiler League table for the 2017-2018 season.

Media reports indicate the club is on the verge of losing attacking midfielder Sofiane Hanni to Spartak Moscow and had been looking for a replacement.