Takuma Asano has had another disappointing loan in Germany this season, which must now spell the end of his Arsenal career for good.
Asano was an unused substitute for Hannover 96 at the weekend, as his loan club sit one point off the bottom of the Bundesliga table with eight games to go. They’re six points behind VfB Stuttgart in the relegation play-off spot, and nine behind 15th place and guaranteed safety.
Despite the team performing so poorly, Asano still can’t hold a spot in the starting XI. He’s made nine league starts all campaign, scoring no goals and providing no assists. He did score once and win a penalty in a cup match against third-tier side Karlsruher SC, but those remain his only goal contributions for the season.
WhoScored‘s statistical analysis highlights just how badly things are going for Asano individually. They list as his weaknesses: Crossing, finishing, holding on to the ball, passing, aerial duels, defensive contributions and tackling. As strengths: Through balls.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just a problem this season. With Stuttgart last campaign, Asano only managed one goal and one assist in 18 games. The 2016/17 season went a little better (eight goal contributions in 27 games), but he was playing in the German second tier at the time.
Almost three years after Arsenal bought him, Asano is yet to show he can make a significant contribution in one of Europe’s top leagues. With his contract expiring in 2020, the Gunners should let him go this summer, so he can try to revitalise his career somewhere else.