Southeast Asia Indonesia

Pratama Arhan Lands J2 Move with Tokyo Verdy

Southeast Asian interest towards the J.League remains strong in the 2022 season after PSIS Semarang’s young star Pratama Arhan officially completes his move to J.League 2 side Tokyo Verdy. Tying up Arhan on a two-year deal, fallen J.League giants Verdy managed to ward off clubs from Thailand and South Korea to land their man, who is expected to reinforce the men in green’s defense for the upcoming season.

The departure of Theerathon Bunmathan from Yokohama F. Marinos at the conclusion of the 2021 season did not signal the end of the Southeast Asian renaissance in the J.League. Chanathip Songkrasin has recently moved to defending J.League 1 champions Kawasaki Frontale from Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, while Vietnamese goalkeeper Dang Van Lam is still contracted to Cerezo Osaka.

Down in the J2, FC Ryukyu and Chonburi FC have agreed upon the loan extension of Sittichok Paso and the Okinawan club have also received further Southeast Asian reinforcements in the form of Vietnamese duo Pham Van Luan and Vu Hong Quang, both of whom arriving on loan from Sai Gon FC. The men in pink themselves also loaned out Bui Ngoc Long and Nguyen Van Son to Azul Claro Numazu in the J.League 3, who already have Malaysia’s Hadi Fayyadh as part of their squad.

And then, there’s Pratama Arhan.

2021 had been a breakout year for the Blora native, having broken into the scene during the 2021 Menpora Cup with PSIS. Arhan followed that up with more strong performances in the league, before making his presence known to the international stage with the Indonesia national team. Underneath the tutelage of Shin Tae-yong, Arhan became one of the breakout stars of the 2020 AFF Championship, guiding Indonesia to the final. At the tournament’s conclusion, Arhan bagged himself the 2020 AFF Championship Best Young Player award, further elevating his stock.

Inevitably Arhan’s impressive showing attracted the attention of overseas clubs, with teams from Thailand and South Korea sending their offers that would helpfully entice Arhan away from PSIS. This led to the Mahesa Jenar giving Arhan their blessing to play abroad in the near future, should a suitable offer come to their table.

The likes of Daejeon Hana Citizen, Seongnam FC, Jeonnam Dragons, and BG Pathum United tried their luck in prying Arhan out of PSIS’ hands, however, in the end, it was Verdy who succeeded in giving the defender his well-deserved shot overseas, with the deal being officially announced on Wednesday.

Arhan is set to become Verdy’s third foreigner this season, after Brazilian goalkeeper Matheus Vidotto and Chilean midfielder Byron Vasquez.

Champions of the Japanese top-flight 7 times, 6-time winners of the J.League Cup, and champions of the Emperor’s Cup for five editions, Verdy were relegated into the J2 in 2008 and have yet to return to the top-flight ever since. 2022 will be Verdy’s 13th year in the 2nd tier and they will be relying upon Arhan to help them in their push for promotion this time out.