It looks as if the pathway to PES 2022 is becoming clearer, with a potential cover star signing a new agreement with Konami.
The youngster is enduring his second full season in Spain's La Liga, on loan from Real Madrid.
One of the brightest talents in world football, it makes perfect sense for Konami to land this agreement with Takefusa Kubo.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell with Mallorca last term, and has followed that up with stints at Villarreal and Getafe this season.
Still so young, the Japanese international will have to wait his turn to get his opportunity at parent club Real Madrid.
Kubo said: "I am pleased to announce that we have signed a partnership agreement with the PES series to support me. In the future, I will continue to challenge and grow together with PES”.
To celebrate the agreement, Konami is hosting multiple PES 2021 in-game campaigns, including “Takefusa Kubo Partnership Log-in Campaign” in MyClub where you can earn his Featured Player.
In the official press release, Konami stated "the company intends to support Kubo, and other exciting young players like him" - so what other stars could we see?
Marcus Rashford and Alphonso Davies have "similar agreements" in place, and we've also seen the likes of Scott McTominay and Serge Gnabry appear on the game's cover in recent seasons.
Perhaps the poignant aspect here is that Kubo doesn't play for a PES partner club - which will create rumours over Real Madrid signing with Konami.
This really opens the doors for who Konami could target next.
Sticking with the partner clubs, Manchester United's Mason Greenwood, Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala, Weston McKennie of Juventus and Barcelona breakthrough star Pedri could all be on Konami's radar.
Outside of that, perhaps Konami is looking at Lyon star Houssem Aouar, RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo or even Leicester's Harvey Barnes.
When will we see PES 2022?
PES 2022 should arrive in early September, for more details around its release date head here.
So, the countdown is now on for Konami to secure some key partnerships, for both players and club licences.
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