Sota Kitano

Sota Kitano

Full name in native alphabet: 北野 颯太

Country: Japan

Date of birth: 13/08/2004 (18 years old)

Place of birth: Wakayama (Japan)

Height: 172cm

Youth career: Cerezo Osaka

Current club: Cerezo Osaka

Squad number: 38

Current national team: Japan U-20

Position: attacking midfielder, winger

Preferred foot: right

Market value (by transfermarkt.de): 200.000 €

Tournaments participated in:

Contract until: unknown

Player’s agent: HEROE

Transfer rumours: —

Similar type of player: Philippe Coutinho

Strengths:

– pace Untitled1

– passing Untitled1

– vision Untitled1

– technique Untitled1

– ball control Untitled1

– dribbling Untitled1

– creativity

– agility

– first touch Untitled

– movement Untitled

– flair Untitled

To improve:

– needs to work on the composure in the final third to become even more prolific

– knows to to use his body and low centre of gravity to stay in possession of the ball but he’s a diminutive player who doesn’t feel comfortably in contact situations

– active in pressing/when out of possession but his efficiency in defensive duels is still very much improvable

Style of play:

– advanced playmaker

– likes to be fielded in a free role as an attacking midfielder, where he is given space to roam the pitch

– creative at his off-the-ball movements, and likes to find the best space to receive the ball with good timings, linking up the team’s midfield and attack

– player that always tries to find a vertical option in his game, so he is very capable of pushing his team forward to finishing positions

– excellent pace, agility, and coordination

– likes to dribble

– likes to attack from the left wing/half-spaces, cut inside, and create himself a decent opportunity to either shoot or pass

– able to rapidly speed-up the game by progressive runs and passes

– able to make effective late runs into opposite penalty box lurking for a chance to exploit his shooting skills

– has the technique, ability, and confidence to execute killer passes and set up goalscoring opportunities for his teammates

– skillful, mobile, and energetic

– difficult to knock off the ball thanks to his low centre of gravity and close control

– excellent footwork, ball control, and dribbling skills in tight spaces

– player with a ‘quick feet’, unpredictable, and confident of his skills

– able to produce powerful and dangerous runs up field on the counter attack

– operates quite comfortably with his left weaker foot

Kitano controls the ball in the penalty area with a good first touch, turns, and scores with a superb finish.
Kitano with a good run through the middle and brilliant pass to provide an assist for his teammate.

Heatmap by Wyscout:

He is best suited to playing as:

Attacking midfielder in 4-2-3-1.

Video:

Achievements:

League summary (as for 22 August 2022):

J3 League 2020: 8 games/0 goals (Cerezo II)

J1 League 2022 (ongoing): 13 games/0 goals (Cerezo)

Description:

Sota Kitano is a product of Cerezo Osaka youth academy. He is a part of a very interesting wave of Japanese teenagers which includes talented players such as Kuryu Matsuki, Jiro Nakamura, Shinya Nakano, Riku Yamane, Kota Takai, Rio Nitta, Ayumu Yokoyama, and Niko Takahashi. Sota made his first-team debut for Cerezo on 19 February 2022 in a league fixture against Yokohama F. Marinos. A few days later he became the 3rd youngest player after Yoichiro Kakitani and Shinji Kagawa to sign a professional contract with Cerezo Osaka.

Quotes:

‘Sota is a naturally gifted player who excels on the ball, his close control and ability to manipulate the ball are incredibly impressive for such a young player, he is one of those rare players who seems to be born with the gift of awareness and presence of mind when on the ball to turn into space or play a line-splitting pass. Sota is also constantly available when on the pitch, he operates in the half spaces left between the opposition defence and midfield and acts as a focal point for his teams attacks. Although he is not the most physical player and can shy away from duels his intelligent runs often ensure that he does not need to enter into a physical duel, allowing him to easily peel away from defenders.’

(Jake McGhee in his ‘Scouting Japan’ series)

Football Talent Scout potential rating:

8/10 BallBallBallBallBallBallBallBall

First team material in a top European league.

Links:

Transfermarkt

Soccerway

Playmaker

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