So Avispa have signed 2 players who have previously been at the club, and been linked with another (Alex from Tokushima), who else could we bring back if we are looking at players who have been here before and know the club?
Some of these are now way beyond our reach (Daiki, Nakamachi, Havenaar (although he is now a free agent!), Sakai) so I haven’t listed them even though they would obviously be really good back at the club.
I also haven’t listed players who are so bad that it is obvious we wouldn’t want them back (Miyaji, Yoshihara (went to Germany bizarrely), etc)
Yuji Rokutan : Has what is presumably a decent life and reasonable wage as a back-up keeper for Yokohama Marinos, but maybe he wants to get out on the pitch again. Still only 27 and at one point was ahead of Kamiyama in the goal-keeping pecking order.
Wouldn’t be the definitive answer at goal-keeper, but would offer another option at J2 level.
Kohei Kawata : Would be a really good deal for us (and probably the player too to get game time) but being 2nd or 3rd choice keeper for Gamba is probably a better deal than coming to play for us again.
Kim Min-Je : Has just gone back to Korea, and will play alongside Oh Chan Hyeon for this new team in Seoul.
Tatsunori Yamagata : I always thought we got rid of him too soon, but at 31 he probably is too old to keep running up and down the wing like he used to now. His main skill was always his stamina, so if that is starting to go then he doesn’t offer much else.
Alex : Already linked, but I think it would probably be a player best remembered and not come back now. If he had come back when he went to Tokushima 2 years ago he would have been a great player for us, but now (on what would presumably be a big 3 year contract) I’m not sure if it is a good idea.
Would be coming back as a full-back rather than the winger who scored 26 goals for us last time.
Maybe only worth it if we are thinking to get 2-3 more Brazilians and want to have an experienced guy around the club to mentor them.
I really can’t think of very many, and that probably sums up one of our biggest recent problems.
Mitsuru Chiyotanda : Another player who would have been good if we’d got him instead of Koga 3 years ago, but is probably now the wrong side of 34 and we can’t have 2 of those guys in the same squad (having just Koga is bad enough).
Tetsuya Sueyoshi : If Suzuki Jun had a hard job coming back then Sueyoshi coming back from Sagan Tosu is even harder. He is the one player who would have been really helped by the higher level of fitness and dynamism demnded by Pusnik, but he left too soon and sat on the Sagan bench for a year.
Had his best season when he was a Rookie for us, and with the right person alongside him he could have another good year back where it started.
Ryu Okada : It would be a thanks, but no thanks from me. He tried very hard, and had a few good games for us, but doesn’t really have enough skills beyond working hard to pull us towards the play-offs.
Jun Kanakubo : I would take a risk on him. He has the skills it takes to do well in J2, and from that get the game experience to be a better player, but I’m not sure if he has the appetite for it.
Similar to Tsutsumi he might one day wake up and realise the opportunities and chances he has been given, but unless things have changed then he probably prefers doing his hair in the changing room and pretending that he’s Christiano Ronaldo with Ishizu.
Kentaro Shigematsu : Looked to be headed for stardom when he was with us as a teenager in J1, but then injuries set him back and he has now ended up a free agent after playing for Ehime last year.
I’d take him back immediately as a player who might be able to recapture his previous form in an environment which he knows and did well in before. He may not be able to do it (but would be no worse than some of our options from last year), but if he is able to start playing again (he is still only 23) then he could be a star in J2.
Jumbo Okubo : Not many fans wanted him to leave when he did, and most would welcome him back if he returned.
He is much older now, and wouldn’t be able to start games and win us promotion, but as a change of plan on the bench there aren’t many other 1m90 Japanese players.
Would immediately shake up the dressing room which is what a few of our players need.
Atomu Nabeta : He wasn’t very good for us, and has just been released from Shimizu, but with an entire pre-season and potential to get better after he has scored his first league goal then if he was very cheap I’d take him back even though he wasn’t very good.