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Marseille add Japanese veteran Nagatomo


Marseille (AFP) – Marseille on Monday completed the signing of Japanese international left-back Yuto Nagatomo on a free transfer from Galatasaray.

The 33-year-old is Marseille’s third signing of the transfer window and comes in as understudy to Jordan Amavi.

“Nagatomo is an Olympian,” OM announced in a video it posted on social media, listing the player’s strengths on a fake collectable card as “fierce warrior” and “thunder speed”. 

Coach Andre Villas-Boas had indicated on Sunday that the player would sign once he completed a medical.

“He has this experience as captain, dressing room leader, he speaks several languages,” Villas-Boas said. 

Nagatomo played seven seasons at Inter Milan (2011-2018). He has 122 Japan caps, winning the Asian Cup in 2011 and appearing at three World Cups.

Nagatomo becomes the third Japanese to wear the OM jersey after Koji Nakata (2005-2006) and Hiroki Sakai who has been at the club since 2016. 

OM have already signed two 21-year-olds, French midfielder Pape Gueye from Watford and Argentine defender Leonardo Balerdi on loan from Borussia Dortmund.

Villas-Boas said that signing Nagatomo on a free transfer meant Marseille had some money left to make “an effort” to sign a striker.

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