Interviews

Mitoma: There's more to come

Kaoru got an assist against Luton but insists he will get better.

By Bruce Talbot • 17 August 2023

By James Boardman
Kaoru Mitoma created Albion's opener in the 4-1 win against Luton Town.

Kaoru Mitoma was happy to play his part with an assist in Albion’s 4-1 win over Luton but insists he has a lot more to offer as the season unfolds. 

The Japanese wide man provided the cross for Solly March to head home in Saturday’s Premier League opener at the Amex but is his own harshest critic.

“It was important that we won but my individual performance was still not good enough,” he said. “I just have to keep trying to improve it.

“It was good to get an assist but my quality is not good yet. This season I want to do various things [better] like scoring more goals, creating more assists and contributing to the team with more running distance.”

Mitoma was happy with the way he linked up with Joao Pedro and another debutant, James Milner, on Albion’s left.

By Paul Hazlewood
Kaoru Mitoma in training ahead of Saturday's game at Molinuex against Wolves.

“With Milner, it’s not common that someone is able to play with that quality in that age,” he said. “Coming into a new team and showing such a performance was really impressive. I played against him in training and I felt he was really a tough opponent. He is new leader for us, who is always cheering the team up.”

Mitoma’s enduring popularity with our supporters is such that one Albion fan has had an image of him tattooed on his leg.

“I had my picture taken with him and he is very passionate,” added Kaoru. “I’m happy about that. It’s also pressure for me to produce a good performance. There are so many Japanese fans at our home games too and hopefully I can match their expectations this season.

“It’s my second season and I know the team well and how the coach wants to play. It should be easier, and hopefully I’ll be able to play with less stress now.”

Saturday's venue Molineux is a happy hunting ground for the 26-year-old who scored his first goal for the club in our 3-2 victory over Wolves last season.