Man Utd’s Pain Heightens as £5m Gem Unearthed by Scouts Increases Rejection Daily

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Zion Suzuki is Japan’s first-choice international goalkeeper (Image: Getty)
Manchester United missed out on an impressive talent when Zion Suzuki decided he didn’t want to play second fiddle last summer. The young goalkeeper is impressing with Belgian side STVV after prioritising first-team minutes between the sticks, leaving the Red Devils to rue a missed opportunity.

Suzuki was available for just £5million last summer after rising through the ranks with Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds. It took only a handful of senior appearances in Asia before the stopper was courted by top sides in Europe. United were among them, although their acquisition of Andre Onana made it obvious that Suzuki would be guaranteed to come in as a back-up option.

And the decision has so far paid dividends. Suzuki was on fire against OH Leuven on Saturday, limiting the scoreline to a 1-0 defeat despite facing 11 shots on target, while STVV didn’t manage a single one. The Japanese international, who was born in the USA, racked up a staggering 10 saves and made 66 successful passes, with only six of them going astray.

Suzuki is rapidly proving himself to be a capable option both in terms of shot-stopping and playing out from the back. And with four months until he turns 22, there is still plenty of time for Suzuki to reach an even higher level. The stopper is now a regular at the senior level and any future deal, if United decide to revisit their interest, is sure to cost more than the £5m touted last summer.

An agreement has already been reached for his loan move to be made permanent, suggesting the youngster will also spend next term in Belgium. Speaking on his decision to snub the Red Devils last year, Suzuki said: “I decided to transfer this time as a step up in aiming to be the best in the world. It’s true that there was an offer from Manchester United.

“As a football player and as a person, if I hadn’t thought about anything, of course, I would like to go to Manchester United, but among them, I really want to spend time thinking about what kind of future awaits me. “After much thought, I made this decision. Manchester United have acquired Onana.

It’s important for me to participate in matches, and I think it is also important to play on the world stage. I want to make the most of what I have learned here and do my best.”

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