J.League 1 side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo announced on Tuesday that their prolific striker Musashi Suzuki has departed the club for newly promoted Belgian Pro League side Beerschot on a fee that is estimated to be around € 1.5 million. Suzuki became the fourth J1 star to make the leap to Europe this season, following FC Tokyo duo Kento Hashimoto (FC Rostov, Russia) and Sei Muroya (Hannover 96, Germany) and Yokohama F. Marinos' Keita Endo (Union Berlin, Germany).
26-year old Suzuki was on the back of an excellent campaign last season, scoring a career-high 13 goals in the J1 as he led Consadole to a solid mid-table finish. Suzuki also kept his shooting boots for this season as well, having scored 5 goals in the current J1 campaign. Suzuki's prolific form have attracted the attention of Beerschot, who were looking for some fresh attacking options for their first season back in the top flight since their bankruptcy and reformation in 2013.
Born at Montego Bay in Jamaica to a Japanese mother and a Jamaican father, Suzuki, who can operate either as a striker or a second striker, left Japan with a record of 163 J1 appearances and 36 goals to his name.
"I have a strong desire to test myself overseas. My aim is to take my career to the next level," said Suzuki in a statement released by Consadole announcing his departure, "I think there's a tough road ahead, but I'll do my best to make my performances noticed back in Japan."
Suzuki first broke onto the Japanese football scene with Albirex Niigata, who he played for from 2012 to 2017. During his tenure with the Swans, Suzuki was loaned out three times, firstly to the J.League U-22 Selection team in 2014-15, Mito HollyHock in 2015, and Matsumoto Yamaga in 2017. Suzuki then represented V-Varen Nagasaki during their first and so far only tenure in the J1 in 2018, before moving up North to Consadole in 2019.
Previously known as Germinal Beerschot and Beerschot AC, Antwerp-based Beerschot were declared bankrupt in 2013, which saw the club being dissolved shortly after their relegation from the Belgian Pro League. They then merged with lower league club KFCO Wilrijk, thus creating FCO Beerschot Wilrijk. The newly established merger worked their way up the Belgian football pyramid, reverting their name back to Beerschot in 2019 in the process. The 2019-20 season, which was cut short due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, saw Beerschot finally returning to the Belgian top flight, which they currently lead after two wins from their first two matches.