Brighton & Hove Albion are pleased to confirm the signing of Japan international Kaoru Mitoma on a four-year-contract, on undisclosed terms from J1 League team Kawasaki Frontale.
He will spend the 2021/22 season on loan with Belgian first division side Royal Union Saint-Gilloise, and will link up with the Brussels based side after a break following the Olympics in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old has represented his country up to under-23 level, and was part of the squad which missed out on bronze in their final match against Mexico, after a good tournament on home soil.
Technical director Dan Ashworth said, “We’re delighted be able to sign Kaoru, who arrives off the back of a couple of really strong seasons in Japan.
“As part of his development we have decided to loan him to Union Saint-Gilloise, to help him become accustomed to European football, and test himself in a different environment.
“He’s one we have tracked for a while, so we are looking forward to seeing how he progresses in the next year and we will be watching him closely during his time in Belgium.”
Mitoma’s scintillating form at club level in the 2020 J1 League season saw him net 13 goals as Frontale lifted the J1 League title, which also saw him named in the league’s best XI for the campaign.
The following season he helped Kawasaki win the Japanese Super Cup, scoring twice in the final in a 3-2 win over Gamba Osaka.
He departs Kawasaki having made 64 appearances, scoring 30 times in all competitions.