FC Tokyo sign 2016 Golden Boot winner Utaka

FC Tokyo on Wednesday announced the arrival of striker Peter Utaka on a year-long loan from Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the last in a series of moves the club have made this winter to establish themselves as legitimate title contenders in 2017.

In a simultaneous announcement, Sanfrecce revealed that they had acquired the former Nigeria international on a full transfer from Shimizu S-Pulse, with whom he made his J.League debut in 2015.

Utaka joins a squad brimming with attacking talent, including current all-time J1 scoring leader Yoshito Okubo, two-time Golden Boot winner Ryoichi Maeda, Rio Olympic standout Shoya Nakajima, and London Olympic star Kensuke Nagai.

The 33-year-old, who joined S-Pulse in 2015 after three seasons in the Chinese Super League, scored nine goals that year before spending last season on loan at Sanfrecce. He flourished at Edion Stadium, netting 19 goals and sharing the season’s top scoring honours with Vissel Kobe ace Leandro.

“I look forward to meeting our enthusiastic supporters, but first I have to train hard to improve my fitness,” Utaka said in a press release issued by his new club.

As per the terms of the loan, the striker will not be allowed to play for Tokyo in any officially-sanctioned matches against Sanfrecce.