Japanese midfielder Hosogai joins Kashiwa Reysol

Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol on Friday announced the signing of Hajime Hosogai from Stuttgart, a move which will see the midfielder return to the J.League for the first time in over six years.

The 30-year-old spent spent the first six years of his career with Urawa Reds, representing Japan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and making his senior international debut following the 2010 FIFA World Cup. That winter he joined second division participants Augsburg, contributing to their promotion run and becoming a regular starter in the following Bundesliga season.

Hosogai went on to spend time at Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin, and Turkey’s Bursaspor before arriving at Stuttgart this season, where he found himself surplus to the needs of current manager Hannes Wolf.

Despite rumors of a return to Saitama Stadium, the former Samurai Blue regular was instead picked up by 2011 champions Reysol, who have stumbled out of the gate this season with three point from four matches.

“I’m excited and a bit nervous to return to Japan after so long, but I want to work hard and help the club achieve our goals,” Hosogai told Reysol’s official website.

The announcement comes just one week before the closing of the J.League’s spring transfer window, allowing Hosogai to don the yellow shirt as early as April 1 when Reysol face Sanfrecce Hiroshima away following the current international break.