Vissel Kobe’s Kyogo Furuhashi has been a standout player in Japan for several years. His play has earned him Samurai Blue call-ups and helped his club win both an Emperor’s Cup and a FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP. But this season he’s taken his game to a whole other level and is consistently putting himself in the running for league honors.

Furuhashi leads J1 with 13 goals this season and is coming off of a hat trick against Yokohama FC in which he flashed all of his prodigious skills. His blazing pace, clever runs and sublime skill were all on display in his three tallies, and none of this touches upon the outstanding work he does every match in link-up play and creation for teammates.

Simply put, there is no player in better form right now than Furuhashi.

As Furuhashi has shined, so has Vissel. They’ve won three and drawn one in their last four matches, scoring 10 goals in that span. Vissel are now up to 4th in the table, a massive achievement for a club that has never finished higher than 7th before, and Furuhashi’s surge is a big reason why.

This week Vissel host Shonan Bellmare, the rare side that has managed to keep Furuhashi in check. The two teams played to a draw in their earlier meeting this season, but Vissel are betting on things going differently this time around, playing in their home environs and with Furuhashi in arguably the best form of his life.