Albion could consider a January recall for Kaoru Mitoma – red-tape permitting. The Japanese wideman scored a superb second-half hat-trick for Union St-Gilloise as they went top of the league in Belgium. It did not go un-noticed at Albion’s training complex. Mitoma has yet to start a league game after going on loan to USG following his move from the J-League. But that could well change as they visit Eupen tomorrow evening. Mitoma went on as sub with his side 2-0 down to Seraing and having just been reduced to ten men. His treble, coming in from the left, helped them to a 4-2 win. Albion have personnel detailed to keep close tabs on their array of loan players. So clearly his performance would not have passed them by, had it been good or bad. But Graham Potter was asked whether, on a more basic level, his feats had been talked about at the club this week.
Graham Potter said: “It has been mentioned. It’s fantastic – fantastic for him, for Union as well. We are delighted. They are pushing at the top. Long may that continue. He is an exciting player.”
Mitoma’s stunning treble came as Albion were drawing a blank at Norwich. While clearly it was only one half-game in a league which falls below European elite level, it was an emphatic proof of the 24-year-old’s potential. He hopes to break into the senior Japan squad, which would help in the process of securing a UK work permit. Asked whether the paperwork was the only reason Mitoma was in Belgium,
Graham Potter said: “As I understand it, that’s the challenge. At the moment he is enjoying his football there and it is important for him to take that step. Then we see what we can do in terms of the red tape, so to speak, the regulations and then we will make a decision in January.”
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