Arsenal forward Ryo Miyaichi was the surprise exclusion from Japan squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The 19-year-old largely impressed during his loan spell at Bolton last season and was expected to be one of key players for the Samurai at the summer Olympics.
However, coach Takashi Sekizuka opted to leave the talented forward out of his 18-man squad, with Utrech striker Yoshiaki Takagi and Kashima Antlers star Yuya Osako also missing the cut.
“We looked at their performances and their positions, and we discussed a lot of things in coming up with our list of 18 players,” Sekizuka told reporters when asked about Miyaichi.
The boss caused a lot of controversy when naming virtually unknown Maya Yoshida and Yuhei Tokunaga as team’s over-23 players, when everyone expected that some of the stars from the senior team would get the nod.
Japan squad for 2012 London Olympics:
Goalkeepers: Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo), Shunsuke Ando (Kawasaki Frontale).
Defenders: Yuhei Tokunaga (FC Tokyo), Maya Yoshida (VVV Venlo), Kazuya Yamamura (Kashima Antlers), Daisuke Suzuki (Albirex Niigata), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart).
Midfielders: Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nurnberg), Taisuke Muramatsu (Shmizi S-Pulse), Keigo Higashi (Omiya Ardija), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Takahiro Ogihara (Cerezo Osaka), Takashi Usami (Hoffenheim).
Forwards: Kensuke Nagai (Nagoya Grampus), Yuki Otsu (Borussia M’gladbach), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F. Marinos), Kenyu Sugimoto (Tokyo Verdy).
Back-ups: Akihiro Hayashi (Shimizu S-Pulse), Kazuki Oiwa (JEF United), Takuji Yonemoto (FC Tokyo), Ryohei Yamazaki (Jubilo Iwata).