Reuters/Molly Darlington

HAJIME MORIYASU surprised many when he left Kyogo out of the country’s international squad for the upcoming World Cup.

Reo Hatate wasn’t included either; however, the midfielder has yet to make an impact on the international stage, so his exclusion didn’t come as a surprise.

Daizen Maeda was included in the squad, despite his relativly poor form so far this season.

The Japanese national team boss insists that it wasn’t just his decision, with his backroom staff sitting down and going through every player in contention of making the squad.

It’s always hard to name a squad with just 26 players in it, but Kyogo seemed to be nailed on to board the plane to Qatar, with his nine goals so far this season.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Moriyasu says it’s nothing personal as he talked through the process of calling players up to the squad.

“We sat down and lined up every position, player-by-player. We discussed their form, their potential to make an impact and eventually narrowed it down to the final list.

“I wish to point out this was not just a decision made by me. I have ten members of my coaching staff and we all met and made the decision about who to include and who to leave out after numerous meetings. Everyone had an opinion and they were all invaluable.

“It was a huge task to narrow the list down, but I am happy with my choices. We have selected Japan’s best 26 players after comprehensive consideration. Everyone has to trust us with the decision.”

It’ll be disappointing for the players, who are playing well for their club at the moment, but they get the opportunity to recherche their batteries and prove their boss wrong in the second half of the season.


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