Born: Kagoshima, Japan, 18 September 1979

Position: Central midfielder

International caps: 82

International goals: 5

Signed: 15 July 2002, from Gamba Osaka (loan).

Fulham debut: Fulham 1-0 Sochaux, 31 July 2002.

Fulham appearances: 58

Fulham goals: 9

Honours: UEFA InterToto Cup winners (2002)

Sold: 30 June 2004, to Gamba Osaka (end of loan).

Junichi Inamoto, who had announced himself to an international audience with his energetic displays for Japan at the 2002 World Cup, arrived at Fulham after an unsuccessful spell with Arsenal. His second experience of English football was far more profitable for both parties, even if the Whites were unable to convert his second loan from Gamba Osaka into a permanent deal due to injuries and torturous negotiations with the Japanese outfit.

Inamoto seemed unperturbed by being followed by an entire Japanese press pack and thousands of compatriots. He settled quickly at Fulham, playing a starring role in the Whites’ InterToto Cup success in his early months with his new club. He scored in the away leg of the final as Jean Tigana’s team drew 2-2 in Bologna and stunned the Italians with a hat-trick in the second leg, which included a couple of superb strikes from outside the area. The box-to-box midfielder made a habit of scoring crucial goals – such as against Middlesbrough, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland. Perhaps his most memorable display in Fulham’s fine victory at Manchester United, where he scored the clinching third goal in the most complete performance of Chris Coleman’s first full campaign in charge.