• Kyodo


Defender Yuta Nakayama said Tuesday he is “excited for a new challenge” at Dutch first-division side PEC Zwolle.

At a news conference following his arrival at the club, the former Kashiwa Reysol and Japan under-21 center back said he believed the move to the Netherlands was a critical step toward achieving his ambitions as a player.

“By moving overseas, I’m pursuing my dreams. I have taken the first step in deciding to come here,” said Nakayama, winner of the J. League’s Best Young Player award with Kashima Reysol in 2017.

Nakayama said he was looking forward to learning from manager Jaap Stam, a former Zwolle player who excelled as a center back for the Netherlands.

“In his era, he was quite the defender, so I want to learn from him in that department. On the other hand, I also want to impress the manager with my attacking play,” he said.

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