Mao Hosoya: Scouting Report by Mark Barreto de Pinho

Mao Hosoya: Scouting Report by Mark Barreto de Pinho

Country: Japan

Place of Birth: Chiba

Date of Birth: 07.09.2001

Youth Career: Reysol U18

Senior Career: Kashiwa Reysol (since 2019)

Current Club: Kashiwa Reysol

Current NT: Japan

Position: CF

Preferred Foot: right

Height: 1,77m

Weight: 69 kg

Market value (by 800.000€

Tournaments participated in: J1 League, J League Cup, J2 League, Emperor’s Cup, 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup, AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification, East Asian Football Championship

Contract until: 31.01.2024


Similar type of player: Kylian Mbappé


● Immaculate off the ball movement
● Excellent striker instinct -> finds open spaces very easily, kind of smells where the ball will go and one step ahead of defender
● Very fast player -> out of the ordinary pace
● High working rate in defense and offense
● Does not shy away from contact
● Good footballing IQ and creative -> good at linking up with teammates, providing assists and so on
● Good at controlling the ball and dominating it
● Link up plays and one touches
● Has machine lungs -> doesn’t get tired easily
● Shooting prowess is very good
● Very hard to knock off the ball
● Physical prowess
● Duelling
● Has a good aerial presence -> able to scores goals with his head
● Penalty taker
● Always pressuring, even when it’s 90 min + -> goes that extra step
● Decent crossing and vision
● Excellent at evading defenders and fooling them with feints
● Good technique and dribbling
● Brave and determined
● Great ball-carrying ability

To improve:

● Decent finishing, but could produce so much more goals if improves his accuracy
● First touch decent, but can still improve A LOT and should
● Usage of his left foot
● Accuracy in general, when passing, again decent but could be more accurate
● Decision making in some situations

Style of play:

● False nine type of striker
● He often falls back to win balls and duels, roams a lot in the field
● Likes to create chances at wings and makes use of his speed to edge out the defender
● Often makes deep runs to either drag one/two opponents with him or just create a chance, with his speed
● Has that “striker instinct”, meaning he sometimes moves before the ball was even passed, really “smells” a goal chance
● Good Penalty taker
● Poses a significant threat on the counterattack due to his rapid speed and dynamic mobility
● Very good in Link up plays with his teammates
● Likes to receive through balls in final third
● Able to create chance with his good vision but also has a good finishing
● Due to his incredible off the ball movement he is hard to track for defender and thus hard to mark
● Physically astute enough to handle body contact and win many duels, sometimes against 2 even
● Technically good player -> can dribble past the defender with a quick feint and then swift by with his pace
● Applies pressure to GK and defenders whenever possible
● A working machine, who is capable of doing high paced sprints even in late minutes of the game
● Mainly uses his right foot to convert goals
● Makes many creative passes and link up plays
● His shooting prowess is a threat, since it’s very hard for the GK to get i
● Sometimes carries the ball from own half to enemy box

Best suited as:

Striker in any 3 man or 2 man attacking setup.


● East Asian Championship Winner
● Japanese 2nd League Winner

League summary:

J2 League 2019: 6 games & 0 goals (Kashiwa Reysol)

J1 League 2020: 2 games & 0 goals (Kashiwa Reysol)

J1 League 2021: 28 games & 3 goals (Kashiwa Reysol)

J1 League 2022: 33 games & 8 goals (Kashiwa Reysol)

J1 League 2023 (ongoing): 16 games & 5 goals (Kashiwa Reysol)


The kid who graduated from Kashiwa Reysol’s academy in 2019 and who has been finding success there ever since, is on his way to major success, with already 7 goals in 20 matches looking to top up his record from last season, having at least 14 games left. The 21 year old is labeled by many of his fans as the Japanese Mbappe. While such nicknames are often not very coherent, in this case it does make some sense. He has an incredible speed, just like Mbappe. Of course that’s not the only reason why he is a similar player, but that’s definitely the one thing which comes to mind when one sees him playing. His speed. If he continues to develop as he is doing at the moment, scoring more goals, providing more assists, I would not wonder if he’d get a move to Europe by then. Even though it may be unlikely, chances are that he may receive a move this summer already, since he is one of the most performing talents in Japan right now, thus maybe having attracted some of Europe’s clubs and earning a move very soon, which again would not surprise me. His instinct is not something one can find in every player and his skillset will for sure be a valuable asset for Japanese football in the future.

A club that he would fit into? I always recommend Japanese players to go to Belgium, as I see it as the perfect stepping stone for a Top 5 League but outside Belgium I think he’d have a good shot in England or Germany, where he could make the most of his skillsets. Of course no top team, but he could prove himself in a club like FC Augsburg, or maybe even loaned out for a season. The options are wide and his talent even wider.


9/10 -> Potential to become a Top striker in a Top 5 league.

Leave a Reply