TOKYO (Kyodo) -- FC Tokyo announced the return of 17-year-old attacker Takefusa Kubo to the J-League first-division club Saturday following the expiration of his loan period with fellow J1 side Yokohama F Marinos at the end of last year.
Kubo, who can play as a striker or attacking midfielder, appeared in five J-League games for Marinos last season following his arrival on loan in August.
"From the start of camp, I'll do everything I can to help make (FC Tokyo) stronger," Kubo said in a statement from the club.
Dubbed "Japanese Messi" after being invited to the FC Barcelona youth academy at age 9, Kubo's internship at La Masia was cut short in 2015 when the Spanish giants were forced to release all international under-18 players for breaching FIFA transfer rules.
Kubo is considered a likely selection for Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games squad, with the men's soccer tournament to be contested by under-23 teams with a limited number of overage players.