If there’s anything that has brought Daichi Kamada to the attention of a global audience, then it is his recent brace against Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League. It wasn’t a game against the strongest of Arsenal sides, as Unai Emery was tottering on the edge. But the Japanese international did catch everyone’s eye. And he did deserve it.
Currently 23 and often compared to a certain Shinji Kagawa, Kamada is slowly and gradually coming of age. The Eintracht Frankfurt man is enjoying what could be called his ‘breakout season’, but there is surely a lot more to come from the Japanese international.
Currently out with a torn ligament injury, it shouldn’t define the player by any means. Kamada has racked up a tally of four goals and six assists in 30 games in all competitions for the Eagles this season. He is yet to score in the Bundesliga but has contributed to five goals in just six Europa League games, making Frankfurt one of the favourites for the tournament according to leading online bookmaker apuestas24 in Mexico.
This is a player who is spending his first full season at the club since he came to the Commerzbank Arena from Japanese side Sagan Tosu in the summer of 2017. In the summer of 2018, he was loaned out to seek first-team football at Belgian club Sint-Truiden- the club that had a key role to play in the development of his Japan teammate Takehiro Tomiyasu.
They did the same for Kamada last season too. In the Jupiler Pro League in the 2018-19 season, Kamada was key for Sint-Truiden; like Tomiyasu was. The attacking midfielder made 24 league appearances, scoring 12 goals and picking up two assists as well. In the cup, he had a tally of one goal and two assists in a couple of outings.
He was a regular in attacking midfield or in the second-striker position. But playing just off the main striker saw Kamada score 11 times and get 11 assists in just 24 games. After coming back from the Belgian club, Kamada found himself in the middle of an exodus at Frankfurt.
Ante Rebic, Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic left. Kamada had to be one of the players to carry the baton forward into the club’s future. Considering this is his first season at a well-known European club, he hasn’t disappointed anyone.
In the Bundesliga, the Japanese international has come up with 1.3 key passes per game. He has also completed 1.6 dribbles per game. That shows why comparisons with Kagawa have come up very often for the 23-year-old.
The attacking midfielder also takes 1.8 shots per game, completing 81.6 percent of his passes per game. Kamada isn’t a physical tackler by any means. But he thrives on being given the freedom to attack. In Adi Hutter’s possession-based 3-4-1-2 shape, he has been coming of age.
Kamada’s Japan and Frankfurt teammate Makoto Hasebe has already seen the player’s potential and told Fussball. news (via BundesligaFanatic): “Kamada has been in excellent form so far. He has developed very well in Belgium. His future shines very brightly Daichi played a great game. But he can still develop further,” Hütter added.
Kamada gets on the ball and likes to get the ball to do the work. Playing alongside much more proper strikers like Andre Silva, Bas Dost and Gonçalo Paciência, he has the burden of creating behind them. And that is working in his favour.
Hutter is a manager who has a reputation of bringing the best out of strikers like Jovic, Rebic and Haller. Kamada is certainly in the right place, in that regard. He is already a regular for the Japanese national team and with the right coaching at Frankfurt, he could be on his way to replicate Kagawa’s path.