A decade after Shinji Ono lit up Wanderland, Western Sydney fans have a new Japanese hero to cheer in the A-League Men.
Experienced forward Keijiro Ogawa has signed with the Wanderers on loan for the 2021-22 campaign, following in the footsteps of Ono who was a marquee player at the club for their first two seasons between 2012 and 2014.
Ogawa, 29, has won the Super Cup, Emperor Cup and J-League Cup during his career - playing exclusively in his home country until this point.
A Vissel Kobe junior, Ogawa played 176 games for the J-League club before spending last season at Yokohama FC and appearing in 23 matches.
"Keijirio has a lot of versatility and experience in the front-third, and he has the ability to play as a wide player or as a forward," Wanderers coach Carl Robinson said of his new signing.
"He is dynamic and has good pedigree having played in the top-flight of Asian football for close to a decade."
Ono, an Asian Footballer of the Year, was recently named in the Wanderers' team of the decade and Ogawa said the ex-Japan international's time at the club had made an impact back in his homeland.
"Western Sydney Wanderers is a great team and is a famous club in both Japan and also in Asia, so I want to be part of this team," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for a foreign club for the first time.
"I come from Japan with the determination to lead the Wanderers to victory and I will do my best to win the championship with the team."
Ogawa is the eighth senior player to join the Wanderers this off-season as Robinson overhauls his squad in a bid to end a finals drought for the club stretching back to 2017.
Australian Associated Press