• Kyodo

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FC Tokyo announced the return of 17-year-old attacker Takefusa Kubo to the J-League first-division club Saturday following the expiration of his loan period with Yokohama F. Marinos at the end of last year.

Kubo, who can play as a striker or attacking midfielder, appeared in five J. League games for Marinos last season following his arrival on loan in August.

“From the start of camp, I’ll do everything I can to help make (FC Tokyo) stronger,” Kubo said in a statement from the club.

Kubo, dubbed the “Japanese Messi,” is considered a likely selection for Japan’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic squad, with the men’s soccer tournament to be contested by under-23 teams with a limited number of overage players.

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