Japan forward Shoya Nakajima has vowed to prove his worth after a move to Qatar Stars League side Al-Duhail SC from Portuguese top division club Portimonense in a deal reportedly worth $40 million.
24-year-old Nakajima is one of the rising stars in Japanese football and had moved to Portugal on a permanent deal last season. However, the Qatar giants have now acquired the winger’s signature as they hunt for both domestic and continental glory.
And addressing the media for the first time after making his big-money move to Al-Duhail, the former FC Tokyo star said that he will work hard to prove his worth to the club.
— نادي الدحيل الرياضي (@DuhailSC) February 5, 2019
“I had a good professional experience in Portugal and I think I succeeded in it. But when the offer came from Doha, I really wanted to give Al-Duhail a try,” said the Japanese international who missed out on the AFC Asian Cup 2019 due to a calf injury.
“The reception from the team’s management and from the players after I reached here has been great and I will work hard to show my quality in Al-Duhail’s domestic and continental competitions.
Al-Duhail were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the 2018 AFC Champions League last season by Iran giants Persepolis FC 2-3 on aggregate.
Nakajima, who was reportedly also a target of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, said that he wants to use his experience of playing in Europe to help the Red Knights.
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O nosso craque Shoya Nakajima devido á lesão, contraída no jogo com o Benfica, não poderá representar a seleção Nipónica. A confiança do jogador e dos responsáveis da seleção nas condições materiais e técnicas do nosso departamento médico, e a confiança inabalável no trabalho e profissionalismo da administração da Portimonense Futebol SAD permitiu que o jogador tal como pretendia realize todos os tratamentos inerentes nas instalações do nosso clube. Força Nakajima nesta rápida recuperação. Somos unidos e fortes. Estamos contigo! #profissionalismo #trabalho #foco #unidospeloportimonense #portimonensenomundo #portimonense
“I did not find it that difficult in Portugal and I think that experience will help me in my current assignment. Now, I am thinking only about taking the opportunity Al Duhail club has given me and working towards making it a success. I will conduct myself in a way that justifies the club’s decision and helping them win the honours at home as well as outside in the AFC Champions League.
Nakajima found 10 goals and 12 assists in 29 league games in his first season in Portugal and had five goals and six assists in 13 games from the ongoing season.
Al-Duahil are second in Qatar Stars League with seven games to go while they will begin their Champions League campaign in a highly-competitive group featuring Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal, United Arab Emirates’ Al-Ain FC and IR Iran’s Esteghlal FC.