Japan midfielder Gaku Shibasaki to be evaluated over anxiety fears
Tenerife have announced that Japan midfielder Gaku Shibasaki is to be evaluated by specialists over anxiety fears.
Shibasaki, 24, joined Spanish second-tier side Tenerife on Jan. 31 as a free agent and signed a contract until June 30, with an option to extend it should the Canary Islands-based club gain promotion to La Liga.
Shibasaki, who was a target for La Liga side Las Palmas in the winter transfer window, has trained just once with his new team, on Feb. 2, just one day after his unveiling.
He has been sidelined with "stomach problems" and was included on the injured list on Feb. 7.
Tenerife announced Shibasaki is to take further steps to adapt to the club and said in a statement: "Due to Gaku Shibasaki's condition, the medical team of CD Tenerife considers that the player has to be evaluated by specialists to rule out an anxiety disorder, that could have generated a psychosomatic pathology, before he can begin training."
Tenerife denied reports in Spain that Shibasaki wants to leave the club.
The club statement read: "The player's agents Manel Ferrer and Roberto Tukuda met with the club's technical secretary, Alfonso Serrano and the player on Monday and Shibasaki, through his agents, expressed his firm desire to recover and join his teammates in order to achieve success at CD Tenerife and in Spanish football as he had highlighted during his unveiling."
Shibasaki scored 14 goals in 141 league appearances for Kashima Antlers before his contract expired last December.
He helped the team to a Japanese double last season as they claimed a record eighth J. League championship title and the Emperor's Cup.
Shibasaki attracted the attention of Spanish clubs when he scored two goals against Real Madrid in December's Club World Cup final, which the European champions won 4-2.
He has 13 caps and three goals for Japan but did not play in 2016 for his national team under coach by Vahid Halilhodzic.
However, Japan national team manager Naoki Tsumura met with Tenerife coach Jose Luis Marti and other club executives on Monday at the club's headquarters to discuss "the coordination of dates for the upcoming internationals that Japan will face," suggesting that Shibasaki could return to the fold in the future.
Tenerife are fifth in Spain's second tier and in a promotion playoff spot.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.