Former Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki has signed a one-year deal with Malaga becoming the Spanish club’s first-ever Asian player in history.
The 33-year old was released by Leicester at the end of the last season following a four-year spell at the King Power Stadium. Shinji Okazaki was a part of the club’s historic Premier League triumph in 2016 as he scored five crucial goals for the Foxes on the way to the title.
Shinji Okazaki has also featured in three World Cups with Japan, and has 50 goals in 119 appearances for the national team.
Okazaki prefers to play with another out-and-out striker as he so successfully did with Graziano Pelle. He is a clever forward, often found creative spaces for others and stringing key passes in the final third.
He featured 36 times under Claudio Ranieri in that season, as he suddenly became a fan favourite. Since the Italian manager’s departure, however, the forward has not had a significant impact at the club as he struggled for playing time.
On his departure from Leicester City, the club said that Shinji Okazaki would be “forever revered” for the mark he made on fans.
The striker will now hope to find success with Malaga in the Segunda Division next season as he enters the last phase of his career. Okazaki, having played in England, Germany and Poland, wanted to experience Spanish football even it is with a second tier club. Malaga lost out on La Liga promotion last season as they lost to Deportivo La Coruna in the play-off semi-finals.
Shinji Okazaki’s signing indicates that the Los Boquerones are in hunt for promotion once again this season. The Japanese will be unveiled as a Malaga player at a news conference on Wednesday on the after finalizing terms and undergoing the medical.