Nurnberg signing Kiyotake: "I decided I needed a challenge"

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is the first of several young Japanese players expected to move to Europe this summer after he agreed to join the Bavarian outfit
Japanese club Cerezo Osaka announced on Wednesday that Hiroshi Kiyotake has been sold to Bundesliga side Nurnberg.

The attacking midfielder, who is expected to feature for both Japan's national and Olympic teams this summer, will reportedly be tied to a three-year contractm, with the Bavarian club paying a fee of 1.2 million.

"I was incredibly conflicted about leaving," Kiyotake said at a press conference held Thursday afternoon at his team's clubhouse. "I wanted to have a good season with Cerezo this year and it was very difficult [to decide to go to Germany].

"But in the end I decided I needed a challenge. I want to help score goals [at Nurnberg]."

The attacker conceded that his wife convinced him to seal a move to the Bundesliga side.

"I talked to my wife about it," the 22-year-old elaborated. "She said 'If you have bad days, you'll have good ones as well. What's important is that you challenge yourself,' and that helped me come to my decision."

The attacking midfielder's long-awaited move to Nurnberg was the first of many transfers involving young Japanese stars expected to take place this summer.

Bayern Munich starlet Takashi Usami is expected to spend next season at Hoffenheim, while Kashiwa Reysol full-back Hiroki Sakai is likely to join Hannover.

"[Nurnberg] had been saying they wanted me to come since last summer and were very enthusiastic," the player said about his new team. "I think they want me to help change their style of play. I want to do well."

Kiyotake's final match for Cerezo will be at home on June 30 against Urawa Reds before flying to Germany the following day.

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