Brighton sign prolific Olympics star and send him straight out on loan

Gianni Stensness., Kaoru Mitoma Olympics soccer, New Zealand v Japan quarter-finals

Dan Ashworth has talked up the qualities of Kaoru Mitoma after Brighton secured his signing on a four-year deal from J1 League side Kawasaki Frontale.

The 24-year-old will spend the 2021-22 season on loan at Belgian first division team Royal Union Saint-Gilloise.

Mitoma was part of the squad which narrowly missed out on the bronze medal at their home Olympics. He scored as a second-half substitute as they lost the third-place play-off 3-1 to Mexico.

“We’re delighted to be able to sign Kaoru, who arrives off the back of a couple of really strong seasons in Japan,” Brighton technical director Ashworth told the club website.

“As part of his development we have decided to loan him to Union Saint-Gilloise. That will help him become accustomed to European football and test himself in a different environment.

“He’s one we have tracked for a while so we are looking forward to seeing how he progresses in the next year. We will be watching him closely during his time in Belgium.”

In the 2020 J1 league, Mitoma found the net on 13 occasions as his side lifted the title. In total, he has an impressive 30 goals from 64 appearances for Kawasaki Frontale.

Ostigard secures move to Stoke

Brighton defender Leo Ostigard has also signed a new one-year contract with the club. He will also spend the upcoming season on loan, this time at Stoke.

The 21-year-old spent the previous season with Coventry and has also spent time at St Pauli in the German Bundesliga 2.

We exclusively revealed on Monday that Stoke were one of several sides chasing the Norwegian.

“Leo has spent pre-season with the first team here and has demonstrated how much his game has developed during his time with Coventry,” Brighton manager Graham Potter told the club website.

“This move to Stoke will hopefully see him play regularly and continue with his progression.

“David Weir and his team will be in close contact with Leo throughout the year and we wish him well for the season.”

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