Thought I'd write a few things about the new arrivals for this season. I can't promise to provide you with anything that a bit of internet searching wouldn't provide, but in any case, here you are. Before we get on to that a quick mention of where our departed players have ended up. Elsinho is now at Shimizu S Pulse, Moriya has joined Okubo at Jubilo Iwata, Takeoka has moved to Ventforet Kofu, Tasaka is now at JEF United and Edu has gone to Matsumoto Yamaga. Oh, and Itakura has joined Manchester City... These are all permanent moves. As for loans, Tabinas has gone to FC Gifu, Akasaki to Nagoya Grampus, Miyoshi to Yokohama F Marinos and Popp to Oita Trinita. To say that some of these were more surprising than others is an understatement. There's certainly some strange ones in there. I'm sure we wish all of them the best of luck, apart from if they play us. So, on to the new blood, in squad number order. Looking forward to seeing how they get on if they get a chance. Hopefully they will!
4. JESIEL (DF)
Centre back signed on loan from Brazilian team Atletico MG although he spent last year on loan to Parana in the Brazilian top flight, playing 18 games and picking up two bookings. Only 24 and fairly tall, his pedigree suggests that he might have been brought in as a regular starter. Certainly should give us some more options at centre back where we didn't have much strength in depth last season.
9. LEANDRO DAMIAO (FW)
Definitely the highest profile signing we made this year. Big goal scoring centre forward signed from Santos, but spent last season on loan at Internacional in Brazil’s top flight playing 14 games and scoring 10 goals. Perhaps most known for winning the golden boot playing for Brazil at 2012 Olympics. Has been linked with plenty of reasonably big European clubs in the past but never made the move due to a series of contractual issues. Apparently our offer was ‘irrefusable’ so it seems that he’s a big part of our plan for next year. I imagine this could mean Kobayashi moving out on to the right and Ienaga to the left but we’ll see I guess.
17. MAWATARI Kazuaki (DF)
27 year old right back (who apparently can also play at left-back), who signed for us from Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Spent most of last season on the bench after singing from Tokushima Vortis the previous year, although managed to score in the final game of the season. I guess someone who is looking to restart his career which seems to have stalled since he joined Sanfrecce. Will probably be playing understudy to Maguinho though.
23. FUJISHIMA Eisuke (GK)
Signed on loan from Renofa Yamaguchi to fill the vacant keeper spot since Popp went on loan to Oita. Started last season as an ever present but dropped out of contention towards the end of the season. I’d like to think this means he was playing when Renofa were doing well! Bit of a mystery as to where he’ll fit in the pecking order of keepers. Fun fact, he went to the same high school as Taniguchi and Kurumaya and was in the same year as our number 5.
26. MAGUINHO (DF)
27 year old right back signed from Vila Nova in Brazil’s second tier. Scored once in 30 appearances last season in the league, but got three goals in three cup games. Starter for most of the season, so you would imagine he’ll be the first choice right back next year.
30. MIYASHIRO Taisei (FW)
Young right-footed striker who comes as a bright hope for the future and is a product of the Frontale youth system. Made the bench in the last game of last season and probably would have got some pitch time if Kurumaya hadn’t gone off injured. Highly rated and has four goals in five games for Japan’s U19 team.
31. HARADA Koki (MF)
Young midfielder, straight from high school. Not the tallest so should fit in perfectly with us! Has been praised for being exceptionally skillful by many apparently.
34. YAMAMURA Kazuya (MF)
Apparently someone we’ve tried to sign a few times and we finally got him this year after he scored the goal to slightly flatten our title celebrations in the game against Cerezo. A reasonably tall right-footed midfielder who seems to be able to play in any of the midfield positions, at centre back, or even up front. Semi regular starter for Cerezo for the last three seasons with a decent goal scoring record too, although he only managed two last year.
44. CAIO CESAR (MF)
Not strictly a new signing but still a bit of a mystery as he was with us last year after Neto left but never even got anywhere near the bench. However, he must have impressed as he signed a contract extension in January. Left-footed attacking midfielder and is quite tall, which makes a difference from the majority of our squad. Played a couple of games in the top flight in Brazil but has spent most of his time in the second tier. Got three goals in four games in the Brazilian third tier in 2018 and picked up a red card too. Only 23, so maybe one for the future is what we’re thinking.
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