Player in focus - Daichi Hayashi

Published on 11 August 2021 at 09:34


Born in Osaka, Japan. Daichi spent his youth playing football from a young age, playing for the likes of Senri Hijiri SC as a child. When he was older he played for Riseisha Gakuen Toyonaka High School and later Osaka Univeristy of Health and Sports Science College. He also spent some time in Gamba Osaka's youth academy before he was snapped up by Sagan Tosu in 2019.


Sagan Tosu

Hayashi has only burst onto the scene over the last two years with Tosu. Sagan Tosu are typically a side in the J.League which haven't always done that well. Finishing in the bottom half of the table usually, with a 13th placed finish last season and a 15th place finish in 2019. They have generally been a team which concede more than they score and even though they had hopes of a certain Spanish Striker helping their attacking woes a few years back, Tosu still remained a team which had little attack and hope for a top of the table finish. However, this Tosu side has changed since Daichi Hayashi joined in 2019. Whilst he did not have an immediate impact, it is clear to see how he has developed over the last three years and has gradually transitioned from being a unused rookie to an important piece of Sagan Tosu.


In his first season, Hayashi could not do much to impress manager Kim Myung-hwi at the time. He was on the bench twice and only appeared once against Cerezo Osaka, coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute and scoring a goal in 88th minute, which was the equaliser before teammate, Toyoda scored the winner moments later. Despite his big contrbution in such a little amount of time. Daichi was never given any more playing time that season. However, he did not let this deter him and set to prove himself in training and work hard in the offseason. He was rewarded for his efforts in the 2020 season, where he scored an empathic 9 goals in 31 appearances, but only started in 10 of those. Being subbed on for 21 games across the year. In those appearances, he showed what he was capable of, even against tough opponents such as Urawa Reds, Vissel Kobe and Kawasaki Frontale. Questions were asked from Sagan fans as to why Hayashi wasn't used more, given his fine form and that he justified to the coach that he should start games. Especially as he was the clubs top scorer for the season. However, Kim Myung-hwi continued to use the likes of Tiago Alves and Korean Cho Dong-geon.


For the current 2021 J.League, Hayashi was finally trusted by the manager to be his main starting striker. Daichi had 4 goals and 2 assists in 20 appearances. 16 of those in the starting eleven. He was also called up by the Japan National Team and featured in this summers 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he reached the semi-finals with his side before losing the bronze match to Mexico. 


It has now been announced that Daichi Hayashi has been signed by Sint-Truiden in the Jupiler Pro League in Belgium. He will join the club this month following a medical.


Style of Play

One of Daichi's most impressive attributes is his strength. Despite coming in at 5'10'' and 73kg, Hayashi uses his body really well to shield the ball and will then look to turn and burst past defenders. He does well to hold the ball up, usually towards the wing and looks to cut inside, but he reads the game well and knows when it is right to pass it to a teammate or play in a through ball. Daichi is also quite a skilled dribbler. In many games I've watched, I've seen him attempt to beat his man using step overs or dropping his shoulder to fake cutting inside, throwing the defender off as he surges past them on the wing. He is very effective on the counter. When Tosu is defending a corner, Hayashi will usually wait towards the end of the box and his teammates (where possible) will look to pass it out to him. Daichi has great intelligence to hold the ball up facing his goal and when he detects the oncoming defender rushing in behind him, he will drag the ball behind him or knock it off to the side, leaving the defender stranded and begin his run towards goal. 


Hayashi is quite clinical in front of goal, give him the ball in the box and he will score. Whilst he will look to take on the shot with his favoured left foot, he can score goals uses his weaker right and the occasional header too, although he is not typically a player who is an aerial threat and prefers to use his feet where possible. Daichi is very much a player who likes to get involed with the game. He isn't a forward who will wait for the ball to come him and for his teammates to do all the work in creating attacking or scoring opportunites. His work rate is tremendous and has 'a never say die attitude'. He will constantly run at players and try to be a nuisance, but does so with a purpose. Knowing when to challenge and when to conserve his energy. Hayashi is happy to drop further back when needed to assist in build up play, but he is also quite defensive in his approach. Daichi is not afraid to get stuck into tackles and defend from up top if that’s the style or tactic that the manager goes for. I've regularly see him challenge opposition players in their own half and win the ball from them, looking to counter. 

He reads the game incredibly well and is constantly looking for opportunities to not only help his teammates but to make space in the defensive backline to receive the ball or a through pass.

It is easy to forget that Daichi is 24 and has only really had two professional seasons of football with Tosu. Up until this season, Sagan Tosu have not always been the best side in J1, usually finding themselves in the bottom half of the table, if not occasionally in a relegation battle. However, Hayashi has been an intergral part of a Tosu side which has exceeded expectations and currently find themselves 3rd in the league, with the potential of qualifying for AFC Champions League football next year. 


Hayashi has the right mentality to do well in Belgium and following Japan's exit from the Olympics in 4th position, Daichi will be looking to bounce back and prove himself in a new challenge. The Belgian League has proved to be a fantastic springboard for numerous players, especially those of Japanese descent. And he will hopefully feel comfortable in an environment that he will share with Japanese compatriots Daniel Schmidt, Ko Matsubara, Daiki Hashioka and Tatsuya Ito.


Add comment


There are no comments yet.