It has been announced that four Vietnamese players from Saigon FC will be moving to clubs in the Japanese football league.
All of the players will move on loan for the 2022 Japanese league season, which is due to start in the coming weeks.
Midfielders Phạm Văn Luân and Vũ Hồng Quân have signed for FC Ryukyu, who are currently playing in the second tier of the Japanese football league, J2 League.
Left-sided midfielder Bùi Ngọc Long and striker Nguyễn Văn Sơn have joined FC Azul Claro Numazu, who compete in the Japanese third division.
Saigon FC currently play in the V.League, which is the top professional tier of Vietnamese football.
In their last season, they finished 13th in the table.
22-year-old Phạm has played three times for Saigon FC, while Vũ, also 22, has appeared 10 times.
Bùi and Nguyễn are both 20 years old and have played four and three times for Saigon FC respectively.
The loan transfers are the latest development in a long-term strategic cooperation program between Saigon and the J.League.
The ultimate aim of the scheme is to grow the sport in Vietnam and send local players to compete in the Japanese football league to enhance their experience and exposure.
The players will be given a competitive salary based on their performance, and will have accommodation and travel arranged for them.
Plans were put in place at the start of 2021 to send the first group of players over to Japan, but these had to be put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saigon FC’s president Trần Hòa Bình has developed a strong relationship with the J.League, with Japanese coaching staff and players arriving from Japan to provide their expertise to Saigon.
Speaking of the latest transfers, he said: “My biggest wish is for Vietnamese football to develop faster and reduce foreign players dependency in V. League. Therefore, I want to give these young players a ‘Japanese engine’ so they can develop further after returning.”
With these four players about to embark on an exciting step in their career, the hope is to gradually increase the number of players who are sent over to Japan.