Japanese international Hashioka in line for a first Luton outing as Doughty passed fit for FA Cup tie

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January signing set for his first taste of match action

January signing Diaki Hashioka is in line for his first outing for the Hatters during Tuesday night’s FA Cup fifth round tie against holders Manchester City

The 24-year-old joined Luton during the recent transfer window, arriving at Kenilworth Road from Belgian top flight club Sint-Truiden for an undisclosed fee. Given time to adapt to his new surroundings having never played in the Premier League before, the Japanese international was paraded on to the pitch during the 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, also making the trip to Newcastle United for Town’s 4-4 draw as well.

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With the pressure of Town’s battle to stay in the top flight off for 90 minutes at least, until they host Aston Villa on Saturday evening, asked whether Hashioka could feature against Pep Guardiola’s title-chasing side, and how has been having spent almost a month in England now, boss Rob Edwards said: “Yes, he is (available), it’s good. I’m really pleased with him, he’s getting up to speed well, the lads like him.

Daiki Hashioka could feature for the Hatters tomorrow night - pic: Liam SmithDaiki Hashioka could feature for the Hatters tomorrow night - pic: Liam Smith
Daiki Hashioka could feature for the Hatters tomorrow night - pic: Liam Smith

"He actually scored a volley in training the other day and we were preparing for one of the games in the last week or two, defensive clearance came out and he scored a volley from the edge of the box, and it was great as it was good for him, but I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the time as I was working with the team that we were working on and then he scored his brilliant volley.

“The lads started celebrating with him, but he’s a really good lad who’s fitted in very well straight away. Good qualities, all the stuff that said when I signed him, very aggressive, very front footed with his defending as well and wants to try and take the ball, and he’s certainly going to help us going forward.”

Hashioka should be joined in the squad by wingback Alfie Doughty, who went off at Liverpool on Wednesday evening with what Edwards confirmed was just an impact knock that he suffered no ill effects from, although Burkina Fasio international Issa Kabore has been ruled out due to the tie being against his parent club.

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