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Foxes turn to Takarada to add some bite to Willie's midfield
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Gavin Glicksman
Saori Takarada will link up with Leicester in January
Saori Takarada will link up with Leicester in January

Saori Takarada cannot wait to tackle life in the Women's Super League after signing a pre-contract agreement with Leicester. 

Subject to international approval, the Japan international will join Willie Kirk's side on January 1 following a spell with Swedish side Linkoping FC. 

Midfielder Takarada, 23, said: "I'm very happy. It's amazing. I've always wanted to play in England, so there's lots of excitement to be playing here for this team. 

"I've also spoken to Shinji Okazaki and he told me it's a very good club and he hopes to see me have a good experience like he did.

"He had a great career with Leicester and I'd like to follow in those footsteps. I want to help this team qualify for the Women's Champions League.

"I'm quite a technical player. I want to play in a way that gets the best out of my team-mates and produce good performances."

Takarada came through the ranks in Japan with Cerezo Osaka Sakai before joining National Women's Soccer League side Washington Spirit in December 2020. 

She went on to help the American club claim the league title for the first time in their history with a play-off victory over Chicago Red Stars.

Since moving to Sweden in January 2022, the versatile star has made more 40 appearances for Linkoping.

Her first involvement on the world stage came in 2019 when she was named in Japan's squad for the Women's World Cup in France. 

Takarada made four appearances during the tournament and has since gone on to win 16 more caps for her country.

Kirk's side head to Brighton on Sunday before a Conti Cup showdown at Manchester United next Thursday. 

Their final game before the WSL mid-season break sees West Ham visit the King Power Stadium on December 17. 

And the Foxes, who are currently seventh in the league, will be keen to see Takarada hit the ground running as they look to climb the table. 


Women's Super LeagueLeicester City WFC
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