FC Barcelona and Kashima Antlers have reached an agreement for the signing of Hiroki Abe on a four-year contract. The 20-year old, bought from the Japanese club for 1.1 million euros, will have a 40m release clause as a Barça B player, which will rise to 100m should he reach the first team.
Abe has already passed a medical with FC Barcelona and signed his contract, in the presence of director Silvio Elías, the Head of Professional Youth Football, as well as Sports Manager Josep Segura and Youth Development professionals Jose Mari Bakero and Guillermo Amor.
The big promise of Japanese football
Born in Tokyo, Hiroki Abe joined Kashima Antlers in 2017 after being trained at STFC Tokyo and Hiroshima Setouchi. One year later, he was chosen as the J-League's Young Player of the Year. This season he has played 14 games for Kashima Antlers, scoring once in the league and once in the cup, whilst he is a previous winner of the Japanese Supercup and AFC Champions League.
Prevously an international for Japan at Under-19 and Under-21 level, he made his full debut in the Copa América against Chile and is considered to be Japanese football's big promise ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
A winger who can play on either side or in the middle, he has predominently been used on the left flank. Abe will now have the chance to develop his game further at FC Barcelona.