日 MF, transfer fee more expensive than SON…another release ‘downhill slide’
Shoya Nakajima, 28, who holds the record for the highest transfer fee ever paid for an Asian player, has been on a downward spiral in his prime. After being released by Porto (Portugal) last summer, he has been released again.
Shoya Nakajima ended his one-year stint with Antalyaspor (Turkiye) on Thursday. When he joined the club last summer, he signed a two-year contract that ran until June 2024, but he was released a year early. He was effectively released after failing to register an attacking point in 16 games across all competitions since joining the club.
Nakajima Shoya was dubbed a 메이저놀이터 “super talent” as a youth player. He made his professional debut with Tokyo Verdi (Japan) in 2012 before moving to FC Tokyo (Japan) and then to Portimonense (Portugal) in 2017. In those two seasons, he scored 17 goals and provided 23 assists in 72 official matches.
Shoya Nakajima, who was at the peak of his powers, suddenly decided to move to the Middle East, where he was offered a “huge salary” that he couldn’t refuse, and joined Al Duhail (Qatar). At the time, the transfer fee alone amounted to €35 million (approximately KRW 49.4 billion). It was the highest transfer fee ever for an Asian player. The previous record was €30 million for Son Heung-min (30-Tottenham Hotspur).
Shoya Nakajima has since moved to Porto after just five months in an Alduhail jersey. However, he was relegated to the bench due to the high barriers of the existing first team, and eventually bounced around on loan before joining Antalyaspor last summer. However, he was released after just one year and has been on a downward spiral ever since.
Shoya Nakajima and the Japanese fans were proud to hold the record for the highest transfer fee in Asian history. But that record is about to be broken. Currently, Kim Min-jae (26-Napoli) is set to join Bayern Munich (Germany), with a transfer fee of €50 million (approximately 707 million won), which is the amount of the transfer window (buyout).