There has been very little contract activity at Avispa so far this off-season as we try to sort out who is going to be President at the club next year, but elsewhere other J2 clubs have been busy.
A few transfers which catch the eye for me:
Daisuke Matsui to Jubilo Iwata – Obviously at the end of his career, but will be very interesting to see how he gets on; was once a very good player and still only 32.
Yosuke Mikami to Kataller Toyama – Someone at Toyama seems to be willing to go against the general model of Japanese football as they bring in a young player who might do OK, rather than a 31 year old who will do enough.
Tochigi lose Paulinho , Sabia and Cristiano – The cash strapped club lose their Captain on loan to Kawasaki, their striker to Yamaga and their best player as his loan ends. They may struggle next season.
Shonan bring in 7 University players – This is a club who have had financial problems and now understand you need to try and find the best young players.
Diego Souza to Montedio Yamagata – A Brazilian midfielder who has already played in Japan, and managed 21 goals in 43 games when he played for Kashiwa; could be one to watch.
Yasuaki Okamoto to Roasso Kumamoto – This guy walks into our first team. Maybe his knee isn’t perfect, and maybe going back to Kumamoto is a big draw, but we can’t wait too long to find players we need.
Desmond returns to Fujieda MYFC – He has all the physical attributes to be a really good J2 level central defender. I’d like to think that Pusnik could work to cut out the errors and give us an interesting option.
Of all the transfers the most interesting for me however has been our former player Genki Nagasato deciding to go overseas and try his luck in Thailand.
This is a guy who along with Nakamachi (currently #8 at nearly title winning Marinos) was our star player in the promotion season of 2010. He came to the club having floated around a little, but was given a starting spot for us and ended up scoring 15 goals from the wing as he cut into the box with the ball at his feet, and seemed to have a skill of getting to bouncing balls in the penalty box first.
The club started making merchandise for him, the supporters wrote a song, and it looked like he would be our key player in J1; but then he left the club under something of a cloud after criticizing how things were being done at the club on a management level.
At the time it turned him into a pantomime villain, and he has received a very bad reception at Level-5 every time he has returned, but he always seemed like a thoughtful guy to me and the events of last season suggest he may have been right in what he was saying.
After leaving Avispa his career went down-hill as he returned to being a substitute as Ventforet and FC Tokyo before moving to get first team football at Gainare Tottori.
It is a career that players like Ishizu, Kanakubo even Kanamori and Mishima should be looking at closely.
At some stage the agents of these players are going to suggest to move, that is their job and they make their money by players moving, but the reality is that if a move takes you to a club (even a big club) where you just end up sitting on the bench then it is almost always a bad idea.
Young players need to have games to develop their skills. Without games Mishima would never have developed his defending, Ishizu wouldn’t start thinking about when to pass, Kanakubo doesn’t start to think about his movement off the ball.
I’d love to know what Genki would do if he could go back to the winter of 2011, and maybe he would stay at a club which loved him and wanted to play him every week.
He is still a very good player, but one who has now been relegated from J2 and ended up moving to Thailand. Not to a club who will play in the ACL but one who finished 15th last season having been in the 3rd tier of Thai football 4 years ago.
He had previously had issues with missing his family but is now moving to a provincial town in Thailand?
Having said all of that if someone asked me if I would like Genki back at Avispa I think I’d say yes. 15 goals plus assists from the wing, 10 goals for a club who got relegated; he’d still be one of our best players.