Western Sydney Wanderers have announced the departure of midfielder YojiroTakahagi and defender Yusuke Tanaka as they continue to shape their squad for next season. The Japanese duo joined the club during the January transfer window and become known for their unique sumo-style celebration after goals.
“Yojiro and Yusuke were complete professionals during their time with the Wanderers and I thank them for their time here in Western Sydney,” the club’s CEO John Tsatsimas said.
Joining from Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Yojiro made 17 appearances for the Wanderers, scoring three goals. He will be particularly remembered for his performance against Kashima Antlers where he helped orchestrate a 3-1 away win. While Yusuke was also an ever-present in the backline, making 15 appearances for the club after joining from Kawasaki Frontale.
Takahagi started his professional career at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, a club he previously played with at youth levels. In 2006, Takahagi played a full season on loan with Ehime F.C., before returning to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2007.
In 2005, Yusuke began his professional career in Yokohama F. Marinos, in which he made 88 appearances until he moved to Kawasaki Frontale in 2011.The 28-year-old from Kawasaki Frontale played 39 games in the J-League this season, sharing his time between left and right back. Tanaka played against the Wanderers in the group stage of last year’s Asian Champions League. Yusuke played in 10 games for Western Sydney Wanderers as he joined the club in January 2015. The Japan duo were released by the Wandererd in June 2015.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones is understood to be on Western Sydney Wanderers’ wanted list as coach Tony Popovic sets about rebuilding his strike force for next season. With the attacking trident of TomiJuric, KeremBulut and Nikita Rukavytsya all departing the Wanderers, Popovic is believed to be keen to bring the 30-year-old Cardiff City forward to Pirtek Stadium.
Capped 88 times by his country, Jones is known for being headstrong and was fined two weeks’ wages at Stoke City in January last year after texting coach Mark Hughes to inform him he was ‘unavailable’ to play against Liverpool. Cardiff, relegated from the top tier in 2013-2014, is desperate to reduce its wage bill with Jones reportedly the club’s top earner on $58,000 per week.
The Wanderers finished second last in Australia’s A-League last season with just four victories and also made an early exit from the AFC Champions League.