There was more movement from and to Avispa as 2 loan deals were made, and one finished.
Just as the squad started to look quite competitive for J2 we added another player, and someone who has the potential to be the most exciting deal of the window.
Youngster Sakai might not immediately look like someone to get that excited about until you find out if is the younger brother of national team right back currently plying his trade in Germany.
He is listed as a player who can play anywhere on the pitch, but is happiest when played in central midfield; exactly the type of player we need for our system and in exactly the position we need.
I’ve always been impressed with his brother when I’ve seen him as someone who is happy to give someone a kick, while also looking to get forward when he can. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Pusnik suggests he tries his luck at left back at some point, but if he can sit in front of the defence I’d put him there personally.
Avispa already have experience of a younger brother not quite matching his sibling after Hugo Maradona came to the club, but I can think of more examples where younger brothers have exceeded their achievements so let’s hope for the best.
I’ve said lots of times that I think Tokio has something about him, he was our best defender 2 years ago and dominated a big Brazilian despite giving up a lot in height, but has not really got the chamber to show what he can do given some confidence since then.
He is definitely a player who looks like he needs an arm round the shoulder and confidence rather than tough love, but after going down to J3 with Zweigen Kanazawa I hope I’d gets 40 games of being the best player on the pitch and makes him an option at Avispa.
The main thing he needs is match experience, and to Learn some of the dark arts of defending. I hope Kanazawa have an old experienced defender along side him to teach him how to kick attackers.
He did enough to show that he had the ability to be be among the best attacking midfielders in J2, but seems to suffer from the same problem as some other players his age and think that having got a job as a pro footballer he can relax and enjoy it.
Tsutsumi was in a similar position in 2011 where he seemed to float around games looking like he didn’t really care, knowing he was talented enough to find a club somewhere but not really care if he was playing for the first team or as well as he could.
Something woke up in Tsutsumi and he looked like a really good player after getting a run of games and some responsibility, I’m not sure if it ever will in kanakubo.
This contests itself on the pitch too where he doesn’t seem interested in winning the ball back when he doesn’t have it, rather looking like an elementary school student who wants to shoot at goal but not run around.
Someone at some point should tell him that he isn’t as good as he think he is and will be back in J2 in 2 years after sitting on the bench in J1 for 12 months.
The same person should warn Ishizu that the same thing could happen to him if he isn’t careful.