|Abe: Back to Japan|
The popular Japanese international earned just short of sixty appearances for the Foxes in an eighteen month spell with the club, arriving as one of the more successful acquisitions of the Paulo Sousa era and cementing his place in Sven Goran Eriksson's team. He has failed to impress himself upon current manager Nigel Pearson, however, and with the arrival of Manchester United midfielder Danny Drinkwater at the end of last week it appears Abe has taken an opportunity to return to his homeland.
It is not yet known whether Abe's former club Urawa Reds has paid for the midfielder's release or whether his contract with the Foxes has been mutually cancelled, but what is clear is that Abe's place will need a big man to fill it.
He endeared himself to Leicester City's fans with a determined outlook that saw him take classes with language experts at De Montfort University to aid in his learning of English. He proved to be a reliable and consistent player at the heart of the Foxes' midfield - even attracting attention from Manchester City at one stage - and he offered a steadying hand in contrast to the more aggressive games of Andy King and Richie Wellens.
Abe scored twice during his time in England with a goal in the Foxes' 4-2 win against Ipswich Town last year and he netted the winner as the Foxes beat Brighton and Hove Albion by a single goal in September.