Women's Team

Yui Hasegawa: 10 Things you didn’t know

Japanese international Yui Hasegawa is City’s seventh signing of the summer.

The 25-year-old midfielder joins the Club from fellow Barclays Women’s Super League outfit, West Ham.

Here are 10 things you may or may not know about our newest recruit…

Familiar face

Hasegawa is no stranger to finding the net at the Academy Stadium, having done so for West Ham last season.

The midfielder launched an audacious chip over Karima Taieb around 30 yards from goal to double the Hammers’ advantage late on in a Barclays Women’s Super League clash in October 2021.

She said: “When I was playing in Japan, I scored similar goals to that on a few occasions.

“That is the kind of thing I’m good at and always want to do. I was very happy to score that type of goal in a difficult game against a tough opponent.”

Past encounters

Despite it being a disappointing afternoon for City, that 2-0 defeat against West Ham in which Hasegawa found the net did eventually have a positive outcome.

The midfielder says that the match, as well as the reverse fixture and our FA Cup semi-final showdowns last season, were pivotal in her decision to join the Club this summer.

“During last season when I played against City, I really liked the feel of the place,” she reflected.

“So, when I got the opportunity to join, I immediately said yes.

“As a team, City were really difficult to play against. It was difficult to express yourself, but I still scored and got an assist, so I think I managed to impress enough.”

Early inspirations

With close control, impressive dribbling skills and an excellent passing range, Hasegawa has certainly based her game off two of her first footballing idols.

The Japanese international picked out former Barcelona duo Andres Iniesta and Ronaldinho as two of her inspirations during her younger years in the beautiful game.

International stage

Despite still being just 25, Yui has already made 58 appearances for her home nation, Japan.

The midfielder has represented her country in the World Cup, Olympics, SheBelieves Cup and the Asian Cup after making her debut in 2017.

She has found the net on 12 occasions in that time, including at the 2019 World Cup and the 2022 Asian Cup.

Trailblazer

Hasegawa is one of only two active Japanese footballers in the Barclays Women’s Super League, alongside Arsenal’s Mana Iwabuchi.

She is also the first player from her nation to represent Gareth Taylor’s side, and only the third across both our Men’s and Women’s teams.

Numbers game

Yui has chosen to wear the number 25 shirt at Manchester City.

It’s a particularly significant number to her, having worn it during her first steps into the game at Nippon TV Beleza back in her native Japan.

Defensive duties

Despite being considered an attacking midfielder, Hasegawa is keen to demonstrate that her qualities aren’t reserved exclusively for the sharp end of the pitch.

“People tend to see me attacking the most, but I also want them to see me defending, and my unpredictability,” she explained.

“Even though I’m small, I’m a strong player and I want them to see me showing that during the games.”

European tour

Hasegawa also spent time elsewhere in Europe before joining West Ham, plying her trade at Italian giants, AC Milan.

Despite spending just seven months in the Italian capital, the midfielder grabbed three goals in nine appearances before moving to East London.

Pressure? What pressure?

Having represented her country at the World Cup, Olympics, Asian Cup and SheBelieves Cup, Yui is no stranger to the biggest stages of football.

It’s a pressure that she thrives off, and a major reason for her deciding to join the Club.

She said: “I always enjoy playing in the big tournaments. I think I stay very calm in those situations, so enjoy playing on the big stage.

“I know that coming here, I have to work hard to win titles, this is the main thing to play for this team.”

On the box

Yui says that one of her favourite things to do is relax in front of the TV, watching a film or series.

Two of her favourites are Money Heist and Prison Break!

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