Arsenal and Liverpool-linked £8m Japan star Okazaki scores outrageous goal

Shinji Okazaki emerged as a surprise transfer target for the Premier League pair last month and underlined his potential against Australia.

A prolific goalscorer in the Bundesliga with Mainz, Shinji Okazaki may have gone some way to underlining his Premier League potential during Japan’s 2-1 friendly win over Australia.

The 28-year-old was linked with both Arsenal and Liverpool last month, having impressed throughout his time in Germany.

Valued at around £8 million by Mainz, the striker was one of the few bright spots for the Blue Samurai at the World Cup, netting for Japan in their 4-1 loss to Colombia in the group phase of the tournament.

The national team may have underwhelmed in Brazil but Okazaki has been consistently impressive, scoring 39 goals in 71 internationals to date.

And the latest of his strikes could be among his best yet, with the former VfB Stuttgart star applying a fantastic bit of improvisation to a cross from Masito Morishige to flick the ball past highly-rated Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan and put Japan 2-0 up.

The goal served as an example to fans of either Arsenal or Liverpool as to what they can expect from the Bundesliga hotshot, should he finally seal a dream move to the Premier League.

In the meantime, Okazaki will be determined to continue impressing any watching eyes at the upcoming Asian Cup in Australia.

Due to be played in January 2015, Japan have been drawn in a group alongside Jordan, Iraq and Palestine and will be expected to progress to the knockout stages, where they could well meet the Socceroos once again.

And on the basis of this fine strike, Okazaki could make plenty more football headlines in the weeks and months to come.

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