Football: Southampton’s Japanese defender Maya Yoshida signs new contract until 2020
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Football: Southampton’s Japanese defender Maya Yoshida signs new contract until 2020

SOUTHAMPTON’S Japan defender Maya Yoshida has signed a new three-year contract with the Premier League club, which will keep him at St Mary’s until at least 2020.

The 29-year-old, who joined the Saints from Dutch club VVV Venlo in 2012, is one of two Japanese players in the English top division, the other being Leicester City forward Shinji Okazaki.

Yoshida, a member of Japan’s 2014 World Cup squad, has made 138 appearances for Southampton.

Last season, he appeared in 23 league matches, becoming the first Japanese player to make 100 Premier League appearances.

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“There was no reason to leave the club. I have been here for five years. In that time, I have had difficult moments, good moments – everything,” Yoshida told the club’s website, southamptonfc.com.

“I feel like it’s my home and I’m very happy to continue my journey with Southampton. It’s a new chapter for my career.”

Yoshida has started all three of Southampton’s matches this season – the draw with Swansea City, the victory against West Ham United and the midweek Carabao Cup defeat against Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Southampton, who have signed central defender Wesley Hoedt from Lazio while doubts remain over Virgil van Dijk’s future at the club, travel to unbeaten Huddersfield Town in the league on Saturday. – Reuters.