KOHEI TEZUKA (KASHIWA REYSOL, Japan)
Position: Central Midfielder
2017 stats (as of 05th June with 13 rounds played): 10 games (805 minutes) – 2 goals – 0 assists – 2 yellow cards – 0 red cards
Kohei Tezuka is the newest bright addition to Kashiwa Reysol’s kindergarten and 2017 seems to be his year. The young inner midfielder that is used mainly as a box-to-box player impacted the displays of his team so much during this ongoing Japanese season that I felt the need to dedicate an article about him even before his first full campaign as a senior player is over.
The 2017 campaign in Japan started in late February and when this article is written only the opening 13 rounds have been played, but Tezuka already built a huge name for himself with his greatly timed tackles, smart positioning on the pitch and also outstanding long-range shots with his powerful left foot that even earned him the right to take free-kicks and set pieces.
Tezuka didn’t make his senior debut until round 5, with Kashiwa losing three of their opening four matches, but immediately he became a regular starter and the results improved vastly. Which saw Kashiwa climbing all the way to first place at the beginning of June. Tezuka started nine consecutive matches, with his team winning eight of those. The impact that this young creative midfielder brought was huge and he also scored two vital goals that could be seen in the following links:
On top of these league stats Tezuka also played twice in the J-League Cup, scoring one goal.
Tezuka is already impressing with his powerful shots from middle and long distance and his accuracy is envying. In these nine games 69% of his shots have been on target, with the player attempting on average three shots per game. This is not his main strength though and without a shadow of a doubt Kashiwa are winning games because Tezuka is distributing the ball very well. In fact with just 9 starts from 13 rounds he leads the entire league for successfully completed long passes (30 meters and longer), which constantly helps his teammates to open defences and to shift the play from one wing to the other.
Without a doubt Kohei Tezuka looks like a gem in the making from very early in his career and any manager or scout around the world that sees that might be willing to add to their team a rough talent that should only be getting better and better. His current market price is set at the modest 50,000 Euros and Tezuka is definitely someone worth investing in.