I’m a little surprised that since the initial burst of players being released at the end of November there have been no more announcements on players.
Maybe it is because the J2 season is not yet officially over with the play-off final this weekend, but Avispa have a lot of recruiting to do, and I expect that some more players are yet to leave the club too.
With that in mind here are some of the rumoured comings and goings from the club which I have read and heard from various places.
Jogo to Urawa Reds.
Jogo has been rumored to be leaving the club at the end of the season for the last 3 years, and the rumour has popped up again this year.
After FC Tokyo in 2011 and Sanfreece Hiroshima in 2012 it is the turn of Urawa Reds this year.
Jogo has a decision to make as to whether he wants to be a genuine club legend for Avispa, and retire as a one-club man like Matt Le Tissier; or to move away and see how high he can play the game.
If he decides to see whether he can make it in J1 at a big club, then this season is probably his last chance to do so. For that reason I expect him to go, but I’m not totally sure that he should.
Jogo has shown he is a bit more versatile that in previous years, but is still going to be seen primarily as a right-sided attacker, which puts him directly behind Shinzo Koroki. Koroki is certainly a better player than Jogo, and a near identical age so I think Jogo would end up leaving just to sit on the bench.
If I was Jogo I’d be trying to get a 4 year deal at Avispa with assurances that he’ll get played in the middle as he has mentioned a few times that he wants to.
Koji Noda coming to Avispa.
As one Kurume boy might be going to Urawa another might be coming in the opposite direction.
We have big gaps at full-back and Noda is a player who was very good last time he played at this level for Fagiano Okayama, but found his opportunities limited at Urawa.
He is a short player, but one the Urawa supporters seem to say is quite good in the air. The way we are playing it will be more important that he is good at hitting a flat, quick cross to the near post.
Ishizu to Kawasaki Frontale.
After scoring a bunch of goals this season it was inevitable that Ishizu would be linked with a move away.
While I think he would be decent at any top half J2 club, I’m surprised a J1 club would come in for him at this stage in his career, and think he would be crazy to go there.
He got a handful of games in 2012 but this is his first real season as a first team player, and what he needs at this point in his career is games. If he stays at Avispa that is what he will get, and then could follow the career path of someone like Jogo to a top club with a good reputation.
He should be looking at Genki Nagasato right now. He scored more goals, and was twice the player that Ishizu is when he left. He is currently in danger of being relegated to the JFL with Gainare Tottori.
Arita to come score some goals.
I’ve heard this name and assume it is Koki Arita from Vissel Kobe.
He is a player who did pretty well for Ehime when he came down on loan a couple of seasons ago, and seems to know how to score at this level.
He is a direct sort of striker rather than someone very creative, but fits the sort of player I believe we should be going for: young and hopefully eager to prove something.
I don’t think he would come cheap and if it is announced that he is coming I would expect it would also mean that Sakata or Jog (or both) are leaving the club.
The most unlikely rumour I’ve heard, but one which is getting a lot of talk is that Daiki Niwa might come back and play as our central defensive lynch-pin.
While I think it would be an excellent signing for the club, and a good move for the player I can’t see it happening.
He has the intelligence to organise the defence and get players around him playing, but would cost us too much money. We already have a lot of money going towards defence to pay Koga’s wages, and the job which Daiki would be ideal to fill is already being filled by him (albeit ineffectively).
Mikami heads south.
I’m fairly amazed that Sapporo would release a player of his ability, but only they know what is going on at their club at the moment.
As a club which is looking for good young players, and has the evidence to prove that they will get games if they come here this is probably the player who interests me the most.
Adds good height in an attacking midfield/forward role, and knows where the goal is.
There must be a reason he has been released, but could a change of scenery to a youthful club in the sun be something which interests the player?
Has anyone heard any other rumors I’ve missed?