New Hatters signing Hashioka won't be involved against Magpies as Japan international will be given time to adjust

Wingback will still make the trip to St James’ Park this weekend
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New Luton signing Daiki Hashioka won’t be included in the squad for tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Newcastle United as he will be given every opportunity to bed into his new surroundings by Town manager Rob Edwards.

The 24-year-old agreed to move to Kenilworth Road from Belgium side Sint-Truiden on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first player from Japan to ever join the Hatters, one of three signings made by Luton during the January transfer window, which shut on Thursday evening. Although he will have a watching brief against the Magpies, Hashioka will still make the trip north to continue the process of getting to know his new team-mates, as Edwards said: “Hashi is a new signing, he’s come into the group but he’s only been here a couple of days, so I don’t think we’ll involve him straight away. He’s going to come with us, but I think we’ll allow him to learn and have at least a week here before we ask too much of him.”

With nine international caps for Japan under his belt and the reputation of being a dynamic wingback during his time in the Belgian Pro League, on what attributes he believes Hashioka will add to the club, Edwards continued: “He’s a great personality first and foremost, a wonderful, wonderful lad. He can bring us some good control, he’s good with the football, he’s aggressive and wants to defend, which is really, really important to us, as we play on the front foot. He’ll have lots of time as we’ve got to stress that, we’ve got to patient with him as well because I think the way we play is quite unique and you’ve got to be ready for that as you’ve got to run, but he’ll do all that.

"He’s actually got a goal in him, he really likes to defend as well, so we're really looking forward to getting to know him better and for a longer period of time. He can get to know us, what we want, and we can really see his skillset at close hand as well.”

Hashioka got the chance to experience his new home for the first time in midweek, as he was unveiled to the Hatters’ supporters during the half time interval of their 4-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at Kenilworth Road, receiving a terrific ovation. Asked how he enjoyed it, Edwards said: “It was a good first night for him to see us, I’ve got to let him know that it’s not like that every week! But he enjoyed it, he was up singing the songs, learning the songs, serenading Tom Lockyer who was sat a couple down from him as well, singing Locks’ song, he had a great night.”

The former Urawa Red Diamonds youngster is used to playing games, and lots of them, as this season as he featured 19 times for Sint-Truiden, with two goals and two assists. The year before he managed 35 appearances, creating five goals, while prior to that he played 31 matches, with four assists. He now faces a battle on his hands to get into the Town team ahead of Manchester City loanee Issa Kabore and also Chiedozie Ogbene, who has done a sterling job in the last two games as a wingback, scoring in Tuesday night’s thumping of the Seagulls.

Edwards believes it is a fight he is ready for though, adding: “There’s real competition for places and he knows that, he’s aware of that. He’s up for the challenge, that’s why we like him. We’re always very honest with every player. When we’re looking to recruit people we always say no-one’s got a right to start a game, so you’ve got to earn that and you’ve got to show us, then when you get the opportunity you’ve got to take it. He’s up for that as well. We’ve got competition all over which is really important for us and gives me difficult decisions which again, it keeps me up all night, but I’d rather have it that way than the other.”