Usami eyes starting role at Hoffenheim

New Hoffenheim signing Takashi Usami insists he has not joined the Bundesliga outfit to make up the numbers.

Football News: Takashi Usami, Hoffenheim

By staff

Usami moved to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena earlier this summer after a nightmare loan spell with Bayern Munich, where he played just five times in all competition.

Having decided against a return to parent club Gamba Osaka in the J.League, Usami believes he will play a key role under Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel, and hopes he will help to realise their aim of qualifying for European football.

"I will help ensure that we achieve our goal: the Europa League," he told Kicker. "I want to be a first-team regular, I need to work on that.

"I feel that Markus Babbel relies on me. He likes my style of play, and he sees me playing on the left."

And while the 20-year-old will miss the start of the Bundesliga campaign due to his participation in the Olympics with Japan, he does not believe it will hurt his chances of a winning a place in Babbel's starting XI.

"I am looking forward to playing at the Olympic Games," Usami added. "A disadvantage in the race for a starting place? I don't think so."

Usami has played for Japan at several age levels but is yet to earn his first full cap for the Samurai Blue.

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