FORMER Arsenal midfielder Junichi Inamoto will remain in London this season after joining Fulham.

The Japanese international spent last season at Highbury but found first-team opportunities hard to come by, although he was a regular in the reserve side.

After being released at the end of the season, the 22-year-old enjoyed a successful World Cup with Japan, netting twice in the group stages to help his country progress to the Second Round for the first time in their history.

Those impressive displays persuaded Fulham to swoop and Inamoto will again be battling for a Premiership place this season.

"London still appeals to me, I have decided on my future," he said. "I have always thought it would be difficult to make it in England. It is very physical, but I can cope."

Fulham have initially signed Inamoto on a one-year loan from J-League side Gamba Osaka, with an option for a further three-year deal that would keep him in west London until 2006.

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15 Jul 2002