Since initially joining the club, the 23-year-old has been refused a work permit to play for the Gunners in 2016, 2017 and 2018, forcing Arsenal to continue loaning him out until they resolve the problem.
Asano made the switch to the Emirates from Japanese side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2016. For two seasons, he was loaned out to German Bundesliga outfit Vfb Stuttgart, scoring and creating 10 goals in 45 games, but he’s now having to return to Germany as Arsenal can’t play him.
The 23-year-old still has two years left on his deal at the Emirates, but he’ll be spending half that time with Mainz, which could leave Arsenal with a difficult decision to make next summer.
The Gunners could opt to cash in on Asano rather than losing him for nothing a year later as it looks unlikely they’ll extend his stay. With Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck for competition in attack, Asano doesn’t stand a chance of first-team football if he did get his work permit sorted.
His situation is a major blow as supporters haven’t managed to see why the Londoners signed him two years ago. They may never will.
Stats from Transfermarkt.