It has been reported in the last couple of days that Kensuke Nagai has been lured away from signing with his hometown club and the guarantee of first team opportunities which Avispa would bring, and has signed with last year’s J1 Champions Nagoya Grampus.
If this turns out to be true then I think it is the worst decision he could have made. There may be better coaches, better team-mates and the allure of winning things, but realistically he isn’t going to get in the team ahead of Josh Kennedy or Keiji Tamada so is going to get limited game time when what he needs most is experience.
I’m disappointed that he looks like he won’t be playing for Avispa; after the club released Jumbo I thought it meant they must have a replacement lined up for him. Maybe they still do, but it probably isn’t going to be Nagai.
Without Jumbo we only have Yutaka (not a bad sub when you need a goal, but not J1 class), Yoshihara (very promising but also very young and been injured), Yusuke (seems to be made of glass and more likely to be right wing) and Hideya and Jogo (not specifically strikers).
Assuming that we need to get someone else then here are some names I can think of from within Japan who might be able to do a job for us.
Scored a lot of goals for Tochigi SC in J2 this season including 2 agasinst us. Sharp in the box and with no immediate chance of playing in J1 if he stays at Tochigi. If he is signed then it would probably also be a good idea to look at Paulinho too.
Should be a cheap option, not worth paying a monster wage for.
A long shot, and probably not a cheap option even if he had any interest in coming.
Originally from Kitakyushu he would be a near identical replacement for Jumbo being a tall target type striker. Has represented Japan at many levels including National Team level.
Just gone down with FC Tokyo and probably not keen to be out of J-League for a season.
Another very unlikely one, but he was the best striker I saw last season when he scored against us for Yokohama FC.
A bit of a mercenary and will just go to whoever pays him the most money (a lot of money), which is very unlikely to be us, but he has undoubted class and has always scored goals.
May well be floating around again at the start of the season as it is usually mid-season when some team finds out they need goals and comes calling for him.
The Korean striker at Oita who looked good every time I saw him, and scored quite a few goals. Young and technical he can&t want to spend another season in Oita after the season they have just had. Similar to Lobo it would probably be a good idea to get him with his compatriot Kim Bo-Kyung who is also good and plays well together.