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Football Manager 2024 Best Japanese Players

Some of the best prospects to buy from Japan on FM24

For the first time ever, the J.LEAGUEs are in Football Manager. The top three tiers of Japanese football make their debut in FM24, dropping in just as the market is becoming ever more prominent in real-life football.

Through the emergence of Karou Mitoma and the excellence of Yokohama F Marinos, among many others, the wider world is becoming increasingly more aware of the talent and excitement that the J Leagues boast.

You can watch the J1 League on YouTube, through the J League International channel which broadcasts up to four live games every weekend in certain regions, including the United Kingdom.

To celebrate a long-awaited debut, we’ve put together a little list of under-23 players that you should start scouting on your FM24 saves. Scroll down to read our mini profiles on some of the best the J1 League has to offer.

Ryotaro Araki's profile and attributes in FM24, one of the best Japanese players

Ryotaro Araki

Ryotaro Araki has been a highly-rated talent within Japanese football for a few years now. His breakthrough came in 2020, when he burst into the Kashima Antlers team. His breakout came the following year, contributing to 17 league goals in total as a teenager.

2023 hasn’t treated him too well, succumbing to injuries that have kept him out for prolonged spells, but he remains one of the better young talents in the J1 League in FM24. One of the outstanding traits Araki has going for him is his versatility – he can play anywhere behind the striker, be it on either wing, in the AM slot, or even deeper.

Once you factor in his promising skillset, Araki is well worth investing in. He needs to be developed, no doubt, but at his best he could be a more than capable attacker in a title-contending Japanese team or a top European league.

Mao Hosoya's attributes in FM24, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024

Mao Hosoya

If you’re looking for a clever striker, look no further than Mao Hosoya. The J1 League Young Player of the Year for 2022 has kicked on to another level in 2023 in real life, scoring 14 goals in 24 appearances for youth-oriented Kashiwa Reysol.

Hosoya’s skillset in FM24 is that of an archetypal Advanced Forward: he’s pretty quick, technically adept, and intelligent in his movement. He needs to improve on his finishing in game, but that’s an attribute that can be developed relatively easily with the right training plan.

The best bit is his transfer value – you can probably get the 22-year-old for about €500k at the start of your saves, making him a bonafide bargain for those managing in one of Europe’s mid-tier leagues, like Belgium, Austria or Switzerland.

Sota Kawasaki's attributes in FM24, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024

Sota Kawasaki

Kyoto Sanga have been somewhat of a yo-yo club in Japan over the past couple of decades, bouncing back and forth between the top two divisions. Sota Kawasaki played a key role as they bounced back to the J1 League in 2021, playing all but one of their 42 games.

Kawasaki is a tenacious midfielder that plays at a high tempo with and without the ball at the base of midfield. His two-touch passing moves the ball with speed and security as a passer, while his relentless energy enables him to buzz about and win the ball back. His FM24 is a decent reflection of his busy style and skillset.

Ao Tanaka is a J.LEAGUE alumnus that has settled in Europe by taking a smaller step into Germany’s second division, and Kawasaki is a player that would benefit from a similar sort of move. If you’re managing in a lesser league, he should be high up on your shortlists.

Lincoln's attributes in FM24, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024


Brazilians in Japanese football is a tried-and-trusted combination. Those of you that take a (very) keen interest in youth football will remember this one, Lincoln, from the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. He scored three goals while leading the line for a Brazil side that finished third. After failing to breakthrough at Flamengo, he made the switch to Vissel Kobe in 2021.

His FM24 profile is one that can be described as a handful: 16 ratings for strength and balance make him a more than sturdy target forward that would be best used as a reference point for your attacks, bringing others into play and causing chaos in the box. He’s not a particularly skilled finisher, nor an especially hard worker, but keep it simple and he can be useful.

Lincoln is one of the more expensive young players in Japan in FM24. He won’t suit every side, but he represents value for those that play in a certain way. At 22 years old, there’s still room for him to develop further too.

Kuryu Matsuki's FM24 attributes, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024

Kuryu Matsuki

Last year, Kuryu Matuski went straight from Aomori Yamada High School to starting in midfield for FC Tokyo in the J1 League. That relatively seamless step up in level is testament to his ability. He’s since gone on to captain Japan at a FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Matuski is one of the most anticipated emerging Japanese talents in real life, and his FM24 profile is a mixed bag of the promising and underwhelming. While his technical and mental attributes are ready to make another step up in level, his very average athleticism could delay that by a couple of years.

Nevertheless, costing a maximum of €1 million, Matsuki is well worth a punt. You’ll be gambling on a talented passer and multi-faceted midfielder that has the potential to play in a top-five league if everything plays out to plan. Go for it.

Ikuma Sekigawa's FM24 attributes, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024

Ikuma Sekigawa

A regular starter at Kashima Antlers in the 2022 season, Ikuma Sekigawa is a central defender that has the capacity to make the jump to European football sooner rather than later.

He’s not the tallest, which some may hold against him, but he’s very solid – attackers find it difficult to move him off the ball when he’s jammed his body between them and it. His heading is the standout attribute of his FM24 profile, coming in at a stonking 17, and there’s a sneakily aggressive edge to his game that compensates for his lack of height.

If you want to ship him to Europe, it shouldn’t cost you too much in outright transfer fee but it may take a decent chunk out of your wage budget. He does have the ability to make an immediate impact at your club, though, which will make the investment worth it.

Masaya Shibayama's FM24 attributes, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024

Masaya Shibayama

Cerezo Osaka have a proud pedigree of developing young talent. Shinji Kagawa started his senior career there before going on to play for Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, then Takumi Minamino rose to prominence. Next in line is Masaya Shibayama.

He’s a diminutive attacker that boasts skill and speed in smaller spaces, as highlighted by his interesting FM24 profile. He’s small – very small, in fact – but makes up for it with an electric change of tempo and the sought-after ability to play off both feet, let alone both sides.

Similar to the aforementioned Araki, Shibayama needs some careful development but if you get that aspect right, you could have an exciting little player on your hands. He’s one to keep close tabs on in your saves.

Satoshi Tanaka's FM24 attributes, one of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024

Satoshi Tanaka

Satoshi Tanaka has already had a crack at European football, spending the 2022/23 season on loan at KV Kortrijk in Belgium’s Pro League. He’s since returned to Shonan Bellmare and put together another half-season as a starter in the J1 League.

Predominantly a defensive-minded player, Tanaka has an interesting skillset in FM24. He’s a good defender that reads the game well, positions himself intelligently and can get a foot in to win the ball back, and he’s solid on the ball too. He could be one to utilise as a left-back or even an outside centre-back in the right system.

As with most on this page, Tanaka is affordable and attainable. You should be able to get him for under €1 million, which represents good value for clubs in Europe’s mid-tier leagues. Get him in, install him as a starter, and bigger clubs should come calling within a couple of years.

Kaoru Mitoma and Takehiro Tomiyasu are two of the best Japanese players in Football Manager 2024.

We recommend Mao Hosoya and Sota Kawasaki as to good-value signings from the J.LEAGUE in FM24.

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