First there was Park Ji-sung, now there's Shinji Kagawa and perhaps next it'll be the turn of Hiroshi Kiyotake.
Manchester United is making a habit of picking up players whose early football careers were polished on the fields of Japan's Kansai region.
Both Park (with Kyoto Sanga) and Kagawa (with Cerezo Osaka) began their professional careers just below the centre of the island of Honshu and both quickly flourished.
I have vivid memories of watching a young Park, on a freezing New Year's Day in Tokyo in 2003, shine as unfancied Kyoto defeated Kashima Antlers to claim the Emperor's Cup; scoring one and setting up the other in what was his last match for the club before leaving for the Netherlands.
As Guus Hiddink did you could immediately tell he would turn out to be a special player.
Likewise Kagawa, the exceptional midfield prober, who could turn out to be a key cog for United this season.
His years with Cerezo were both showered in goals (averaging almost one every 2.5 matches from midfield) and defined by a refusal to leave the club he started with even as it floundered in the Japanese second division and offers of bigger opportunities constantly arrived.
The move to Borussia Dortmund brought widespread attention and I'm still dumbfounded by a discussion with a colleague who claimed he hadn't done enough to earn inclusion on the shortlist for last year's FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Making both the Kicker Team of the Season and the ESM European Team of the Season, playing a key role as his club won the Bundesliga and his nation the Asian Cup (even in an injury marred second half of the season) is surely a remarkable return.
But those lists don't include Asian players, right?
The mark of the man first demonstrated by his loyalty to Cerezo has been reinforced by his claims that he isn't worthy of the famous number 7 shirt at United and would rather make his own legacy in the No. 26.
Considering three of the most recent custodians of that particular number were Gabriel Obertan, Manucho and Massimo Taibi, he may not have to try particularly hard.
All of which brings us to Kiyotake; a man whose change of clubs has been overshadowed by that of Kagawa but in which there is a neat symmetry.
So neat in fact that when I arrived in Osaka last weekend to watch Kiyotake's farewell match I was literally beaten to the last spot in the elevator from the basement of Nagai Stadium by none other than Kagawa himself.
He was in town to farewell his former team-mate and even though the pair played together for less than six months at Cerezo their partnership is one that's set to continue at national team level for many, many years.
Although Kiyotake is perhaps more comfortable on his left than Kagawa, both players are, as is the case with most young Japanese, strong with both feet and with a range of passing that wouldn't look out of place handed in as classwork in the school of Xavi and Iniesta.
Both have an innate sense of how to find 'empty' space and how to position themselves to perform what Pedro last year termed the 'base-level Barcelona philosophy' of RPM – receive, pass and move.
Kagawa is perhaps the better finisher of the pair but both are capable of playing centrally or out wide, fine technicians that represent the best of the Japanese production line – and to round off the similarities both are officially listed as being exactly the same height (1.72 metres).
Can Kiyotake live up to the remarkable success generated by his former team-mate?
Certainly, at Dortmund, Kagawa moved to a club at a higher level than Nurnberg but already there are big expectations being placed upon the 22 year old with manager Dieter Hecking claiming his $1.5 million signing is, "a good player in one-on-one situations and one who exudes a goal threat."
And how right Hecking was, Kiyotake scoring in a 4-0 pre-season friendly win against Eintracht Bamberg on Thursday night.
Kiyotake's adaptation to the Bundesliga will be delayed by the London Olympic Games where he will be a central component of a young Japanese side that is full of promise but should he, as expected, shine in the Under-23 tournament then winning a place in the first XI at the Frankenstadion should come relatively quickly.
He's certainly unlikely to face any of the light-hearted challenges posed by his departing team-mates in Osaka.
At the end of last weekend's draw with high-flying Urawa Red Diamonds (Cerezo's equalizer coming after Kiyotake had been replaced), the entire squad donned 'Kiyo' shirts and lined up in a huge mass in front of the northern goal; the man of the moment proceeding to dribble past 25 players and 'score' a final time for the club he joined in 2010.
He was then presented with flowers and tributes by both Kagawa and the man who embodies the club more than any other - former captain Hiroaki Morishima - before tearing up as he made his own speech thanking the club, his wife and young son.
Which prompted one of the stranger scenes I've witnessed at a football match as the massed banks of almost 30,000 Cerezo supporters broke out in an impromptu chant dedicated to his wife Mariko.
It was a fitting tribute to the player who, after making his name at hometown club Oita Trinita, quickly became a hero to the pink half of Osaka.
A player who now joins the growing ranks of Japanese in Germany but who may turn out to be one of the best.
Manchester United, are you watching?
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