Takuma Asano scored on his debut for Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, after completing a £1m move to the Serbian club from Arsenal this summer.
Asano spent three years with Arsenal, joining in July 2016 and leaving for Belgrade earlier this month.
The 24-year-old never managed to get a work permit to play in England, so he didn’t make a single appearance for the Gunners in that time. Instead, he endured a couple of difficult loan spells with VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96.
Asano has made a fast start to life with his new permanent club though, scoring within 21 minutes of his debut in Partizan’s Europa League qualifier against Yeni Malatyaspor:
Partizan ended up winning the match 3-1. They still need to get through the away leg to progress to the final round of Europa League qualification.
If Partizan do manage to make it into the Europa League proper, there’s a chance Arsenal might end up in their group, which would make for an interesting storyline.
Asano really needs to find some consistency with his new club now though. The Japanese international scored on his competitive debut for Hannover 96 last season, with what turned out to be his only goal of the campaign.
It’s one thing to start well, but he has to push on.