• Kyodo

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Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Ao Tanaka is set to join Fortuna Dusseldorf on a one-year loan, the German second-division side announced Saturday.

Tanaka, 22, will start the loan on July 1, with the clubs having agreed on an option to make the move permanent.

The 2019 J. League young player of the year has been an important figure for Frontale, which is track for its fourth J1 title in five seasons.

Having already made his senior national team debut, he is also expected to be a key contributor for the Japan’s Olympic team at the Tokyo Games this summer.

A native of Kawasaki, Tanaka came up through the Frontale youth system and can play multiple midfield roles thanks to his strong defensive and playmaking abilities.

“I’m glad to be taking this major step,” Tanaka said in a statement from Dusseldorf.

The historic club will bid for promotion back to the Bundesliga after finishing fifth in the second division last season.

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