Trickery intensifies at Western United with Riku Danzaki coup

Riku Danzaki Western United

Western United’s attack is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men next season with Riku Danzaki adding another injection of flair in the final third.

The 23-year-old Japanese playmaker joins the Green and Black on a two-year deal from Scottish Premier League outfit Motherwell FC, where he made four appearances after signing in January having spent the first half of the 2022/23 season on loan at Brisbane Roar.

It was with Roar that Danzaki emerged as one of the Isuzu UTE A-League’s leading creative midfielders, dazzling with nine goals and one assist as Brisbane reached the Finals Series in 2020/21.

Danzaki has also spent time in the top two divisions in his native Japan, breaking through in the J1 League with HC Sapporo while also lining up in J2 with JEF United Chiba.

Playing on either wing or through the middle, Danzaki is an expert at arriving in threatening positions to either score a goal or create one for his teammates.

Ahead of his return to Australia with Western United, Danzaki spoke of his excitement and readiness to contribute for the Green and Black.

“I am so happy to sign for Western United. I will do my best on the pitch for the Club,” he said.

“Western United is a great team, lots of passion and good football. I like it, and I am so happy to be here. I will do my best to win something for the Club.”

Western United Head Coach John Aloisi hailed Danzaki’s creativity and eye for goal, elements that he believes will add even further to a dangerous-looking attacking contingent.

“We have had an eye on Riku for some time now after his performances with Brisbane Roar and we are extremely pleased to add his quality into our side,” he said.

“Riku can play anywhere in the final third and can hurt an opposition in a number of ways, whether that be scoring himself, setting up a teammate or taking on a defender with his skill.

“He is coming into our squad that is rich with dynamic, exciting, young attacking talent and I can’t wait to see everyone working together in training and on the pitch this season.”

Danzaki’s arrival follows the capture of Daniel Penha, with the pair of new recruits joining an electrifying group of young attacking talent featuring the likes of Lachie Wales and Noah Botic.

With the experience and star power of Aleksandar Prijovic added to that, the 2023/24 Isuzu UTE A-League season looms as an exciting one for Western United fans.

Danzaki will join his new teammates in pre-season training as the group continues to prepare for next month’s Australia Cup Round of 32 clash against Edgeworth Eagles.