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Man City defender Ko Itakura winning great praise at Schalke

Manchester City defender Ko Itakura is quickly winning over fans at Schalke.

The Japan international is on-loan at Schalke this season. He spent last term with FC Groningen in a similar temporary deal.

“Ko is an absolute win for our team. He is characterised by his calm," said S04 coach Dimitrios Grammozis, after victory over SC Paderborn.

Primarily a centre-half, Itakura can also play as a defensive midfielder. The 24 year-old joined City two years ago from Kawasaki Frontale. He spent his first two seasons in Europe in Holland with Groningen before joining Schalke this summer.

Also quoted by Fussball Transfers, S04 sports chief Rouven Schroder added: “Ko has integrated so quickly. He's been living with this club after a short time."

If Schalke can win promotion this season, they can buy Itakura from City for €4m.

So far this campaign, Itakura has made three appearances. He also has five caps with Japan. Itakura first made his international breakthrough in the 2019 Copa America, making his full debut against Uruguay.

- updated September 15

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