After a few months of speculation and failure to capture him last summer, Gamba has finally signed Oh Jae-Suk (Defender, 23) from Gangwon F.C. of South Korea.
Oh is a right-back and will be most known for his participation in the London Olympics in 2012 where he and his country managed to finish in 3rd place after beating Japan 2-0 in the 3rd place play-off. He made three appearances during the tournament and started two of those, as well as being an unused substitute three times. He still managed to get two yellow cards in 293 minutes of football but positively has had exposure to high level football which will be necessary in J2.
His youth career started in 2009 at Kyung Hee University, and then he joined Suwon Bluewings in 2010. He made just 13 appearances that season so he was loaned out to Gangwon F.C. for 2011 and he made his move permanent for the 2012 season. Over the two seasons, he made a total of 61 appearances and scored three goals. Most importantly, he became a regular at Gangwon and was able to cement his place as the first choice right-back. Although the team finished 16th and 14th during these seasons, it must be said that the team was only created a few years ago.
His transfer will be a relief to Gamba fans as Akira Kaji is not getting any younger and his injuries last season forced Gamba to use Takei, Uchida and Iwashita there. It will be good to see Oh battle it out with Kaji but also to learn from him. Uchida is still young and may have to bide his time if he wants to claim the right-back as his own. Nevertheless, Oh has got the necessary experience to assure a swift return to J1 and will allow Kaji some rest in this long long season.
I would like to finally welcome Oh to Banpaku and I hope that he has much more success in his very young career.