Football: Four Albirex Niigata players to watch in the 2019 Singapore Premier League

(Clockwise from left) Hiroyoshi Kamata, Kyoga Nakamura ,Kengo Fukudome and Kaishu Yamazaki are all Albirex Niigata players to watch in the 2019 Singapore Premier League.
(Clockwise from left) Hiroyoshi Kamata, Kyoga Nakamura ,Kengo Fukudome and Kaishu Yamazaki are all Albirex Niigata players to watch in the 2019 Singapore Premier League.PHOTOS: ALBIREX.COM.SG

HIROYOSHI KAMATA

One of only four players retained from last season, the pocket-sized Kamata will be tasked with providing the team pace and verve upfront.

The 1.65m-tall speedster arrived in Singapore in 2016 from Albirex's parent club in Japan, and is capped for Japan at U-17 level.

KYOGA NAKAMURA

Tasked with pulling the strings in midfield, 22-year-old Nakamura is blessed with a cultured left foot and models his game after Andres Iniesta.

Played three matches for Japan at the 2013 Under-17 World Cup, where the junior Samurai Blue were knocked out in the round of 16 by third-placed finishers Sweden.

KENGO FUKUDOME

The shot-stopper has big shoes - and gloves - to fill in replacing Yosuke Nozawa, arguably the Singapore Premier League's best goalkeeper in recent years.

 
 
 

The 31-year-old Fukudome is well-travelled, having been on the books of various lower league German clubs from 2010 to 2015.

KAISHU YAMAZAKI

The strapping 1.82m-tall midfielder is set to play a key role for Albirex this season, sitting deep and orchestrating play, a la Sergio Busquets.

The 21-year-old - who models his game after another deep-lying playmaker, former Italy star Andrea Pirlo - spent a season with the Under-19 team of second-tier German side Darmstadt in 2015.