Football: Get Nakata; Allardyce Keen to Sign On-Loan Japanese Star after His Magic Inspires Late Bolton Victory Bolton 2 WBA 0

The Mirror (London, England), October 24, 2005 | Go to article overview

Football: Get Nakata; Allardyce Keen to Sign On-Loan Japanese Star after His Magic Inspires Late Bolton Victory Bolton 2 WBA 0


Byline: By ALAN NIXON

SAM ALLARDYCE hailed Hidetoshi Nakata for his match-winning display and revealed he will sign the Japanese star permanently if he carries on in this form.

The Bolton boss (below) beamed: "The quality of the free-kick showed what he is about and his overall play is getting better and better.

"We were a bit worried as he played in Turkey on Thursday and he is not used to the Premiership. But he came through the physical challenge and proved his class.

"It was fitting for him to get the goal and Kevin Nolan too when he scored the second.

"I met Hidetoshi in Japan in the summer and wanted to find out about him as a person and see what his ambitions were. It makes it easier to sign a player like that.

"He wanted to come and along with his agent he made it financially possible. If he continues like that he will be a real capture for us."

Nakata is on loan from Italian side Fiorentina where he hardly played last season, his goal was his first since April 2004.

Nakata looks set to fill Jay-Jay Okocha's boots as the Nigerian is out injured and showing signs of being past his brilliant best.

The Japanese maestro had been the emperor of a frantic midfield and found the telling blow nine minutes from time to put Allardyce's side sixth in the table.

But he had a little help from referee Mike Dean and an Albion defensive wall that crumbled in front of him to let his sweet free-kick find the far corner.

Nakata won a dubious set-piece when Dean ruled that Martin Albrechtsen had bundled him over when it looked a legitimate 50-50 challenge on the edge of the box.

Dean marched the West Brom men back the full ten yards and Nakata saw his chance, slotting into the far corner of Chris Kirkland's goal to end an uncompromising game with a touch of Oriental glamour.

Skipper Nolan made sure in injury-time when his persistence paid off, taking the rebound from his blocked pass and curling a shot into the bottom of the net.

Pity poor Diomansy Kamara. The West Brom striker won, scored and fluffed in the weekend's latest spot-kick sideshow. …

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