The German media are starting to become critical of Takuma Asano’s loan spell so far, as the Japanese international continues to struggle to make an impact for Hannover 96.
In over a month, Asano has only made one appearance for Hannover, playing 57 minutes of a cup game against Wolfsburg. Otherwise, the 24-year-old has been relegated to the bench or left out of the squad altogether.
German outlet SportBuzzer write that Asano has gone from a ‘regular player’ in the squad to a ‘grandstand guest’. They call the forward’s present situation ‘unappetising’, as even younger players like Linton Maina and Noah Sarenren Bazee get given more chances and perform better in them.
SportBuzzer also highlight that Asano’s only competitive goal so far came against third division side Karlsruher SC. They write: “As 96-coach Andre Breitenreiter realised that the 24-year-old striker didn’t make the hoped-for effect, he moved him more and more into the background.”
Asano’s absence from the Hannover first team began with a defeat to RB Leipzig. The striker was partly at fault for a Leipzig goal, then missed a couple of good chances to get his team back in the game. Since that day in mid-September, he hasn’t started in the Bundesliga.
Hopefully, the Arsenal loanee makes the most of his next appearance and proves he can still be a valuable asset to the team. For now, though, this season is going worryingly similar to the last.