Mitoma: De Zerbi's approach is perfect for me

Winger's fine form has helped maintain our push for European football.

By Charlie Hanson • 04 May 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Kaoru Mitoma is enjoying life under Roberto De Zerbi.

Kaoru Mitoma believes he fits perfectly into Roberto De Zerbi’s tactical set-up.

The Japan international has been a key player in the team since De Zerbi's appointment in September, with the Italian giving him the freedom to attack down the left flank.

That has seen the 25-year-old score seven Premier League goals and contribute five assists.

“The coach demands a lot from me, so I’m trying my best to meet them,” Kaoru said. “The way he sets up the team and his tactics are helping my performance, as it suits my style very well.

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi wants his players to continue to express themselves despite the pressure of challenging for Europe.

“He is very specific about what he wants from me in training and in games. I think my standard on the ball and off the ball are improving step by step, so I feel that I'm developing under his coaching.

“I think ever since our manager took over the team has evolved tactically, and everyone is playing with a great spirit.

“Our quality and technical ability have always been high, and there's competition for every position and that’s what led to the great result [against Wolves].”

Thursday’s game offers Albion a quick opportunity to put right their Emirates FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, as Erik ten Hag’s team make the trip to The Amex.

By Paul Hazlewood
36,000 Albion supporters roared on Roberto De Zerbi's team at Wembley.

Kaoru is keen that our fans see a victory to help ease any Wembley disappointment. 

“They always give us great support in both home and away matches. If we can reach a higher standard playing this brand of football, I think we will be able to bring them even more joy. 

“I want to make them happy, and in order to do so, we want to make history and finish higher than last season.

The semi-final was a disappointing result, a frustrating result, but we have already switched our focus to the league. It's very important that we win this game as they are our direct rivals in the league table. This will be a really big game for both teams.”