Brazilian striker Lins Lima finally joins

Lins LimaThis transfer was a long time in coming as speculation for a fair few weeks finally bore fruit as 26 year-old striker Lins Lima de Brito signed a permanent deal with Gamba to ease our potential striker worries and add some excellent fire-power.

The Brazilian signs from Criciúma Esporte Clube who finished 15th in the Brazilian First Division in 2013. Lins was the real stand-out player though as he netted 11 times for the relegation-battlers and was the joint top scorer for his side and was ranked joint 7th in the league overall which is not bad at all considering where his side finished last season.

He attracted attention from better teams in the league but decided that Gamba was to be his destination regardless of whether we paid to get him now or waited until the summer to get him on a free transfer. We made the right choice to get him now because we needed a striker thanks to the departure of 4 over the winter which left us with 2, but also the fact that Sato has not long come back from injury is also a concern. Getting either or Usami injured would have been a nightmare.

We really should be getting a very good player here as the stats show how good Lins was last season. His success will depend on him settling into Japan quickly and finding a good combination with Usami and the support players. Although I have not seen Lins play, we should have room for optimism and hope that he is not a one-season Brazilian like the rest of them.

Welcome to Banpaku Lins and the J.League. You have the potential to be a great signing so I am sure you will do just that. Let’s destroy J1!

Photo taken from imageshack. No copyright infringement intended. Original here.

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Katsuhisa Inamori is loaned to Gainare Tottori

Katsuhisa InamoriThe newly-relegated J3 side Gainare Tottori have taken 19 year-old defender Katsuhisa Inamori on loan for the 2014 season.

There is not much to say for Inamori because he has been a last resort centre back for Gamba since joining in 2012 from the youth team. He has yet to make an appearance in any form for the club and will now test his professional football level in the newly-formed J3 with Gainare Tottori who now have former Gamba manager Masanobu Matsunami as their coach. That was probably an influencing factor for Inamori but the fact is that he needs game time in order to progress as a player, at Gamba or elsewhere, so this is a good step for him.

The return of Kim Jung-Ya to Gamba was what signalled a potential loan for Inamori and that has indeed become the case. It would not be surprising to see Ken Tajiri loaned out next and I hope his sake that that is the case.

I am sure Katsuhisa will do a fine job in getting Tottori promoted back to J2 but his main aim will be to grow as a player and show that he has what it takes to be a fine player, regardless of what team he plays for. Good luck Katsuhisa and I hope to see you back at Banpaku soon!

Photo taken from Kansai Pia. No copyright infringement intended. Original here.

Kim Jung-Ya returns from Sagan Tosu

Kim Jung-YaAfter a rather unsuccessful period at Sagan Tosu, 25 year-old defender Kim Jung-Ya returns to Gamba after a year away with the J1 side.

He made just 6 league starts and 8 league appearances in total. He was on the winning side just once in those 8 appearances as the team took 4 points with him in the starting XI. His bad form at the start of the season coincided with Sagan’s poor start and he was dropped from the entire squad from match day 13 until match day 32. He made another 5 appearances in cup competitions but the lack of league appearances tell you all you need to know about what kind of player is.

In his two years with Gamba before that, he made just 18 appearances in all competitions with no goals. He was hardly a solid player in the 2012 season either and my expectations were that he would be let go instead of coming back to us. This move does suggest that he will take the role of Katsuhisa Inamori as the final choice in the centre-back position. This should allow the youngster to go out on loan and gain some valuable experience. The same could be said about Ken Tajiri as we do not need 4 goalkeepers.

I cannot see Kim knocking on the match day squad in any capacity but his J1 experience will be useful if we do indeed get that far down the pecking order. I hope he can show us he has something about him but that remains to be see. Good luck to Kim and welcome back!

Photo taken from saga-s. No copyright infringement intended. Original here.

Keigo Numata joins Kamatamare Sanuki on loan

Keigo NumataWith Hiroki Fujiharu and Yuto Uchida, not to mention the potential cover of Oh Jae-Suk, it comes as no surprise that 23 year-old defender Keigo Numata has been allowed to join newly-promoted J2 team Kamatamare Sanuki on a year-long loan.

Numata had just one appearance on the bench last year for Gamba and made no first team appearances during our promotion season. He has made just 2 starts in his 2 years at Gamba, one apiece in the Emperor’s Cup and the ACL respectively. With no sniff of first team action and the lad now 23, it only makes sense for him to first a loan and maybe permanent deal elsewhere, particularly with the quality that he has to face in his left-back position at Gamba.

Kamatamare Sanuki will be making their first advances into the J.League in 2014 after beating Gainare Tottori in the promotion/relegation play-off, which the then-JFL side won 2-1 on aggregate. It will be a good basis for Numata to shine and will give Sanuki a player who has had experience working with one of the top teams in the country. It should be a good match, as long as Keigo gets playing time.

I would expect Ken Tajiri and Katsuhisa Inamori to follow suit and go out on loan as they also only made one bench appearance during 2013. Good luck to Keigo and I hope you can come back to Gamba and challenge for the squad places!

Photo taken from livedoor. No copyright infringement intended. Original here.

Two coaches join the staff

With the departures of Noritada Saneyoshi and Masaaki Koido back in December, Gamba needed and finally have filled their vacant positions.

42 year-old Tomohiro Katanosaka takes the empty Head Coach position from Saneyoshi after spending the past 4 seasons at Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Before then, he spent 3 years with Gamba as Head Coach under the reigns of Akira Nishino. He has history with Gamba from before then, having spent a year and a half with the club from 2000 until 2001 after signing from Oita Trinita. His knowledge of the team will be invaluable.

28 year-old Taka Oshima joins the club from Sagan Tosu having spent two years with the Kyushu club. He will take the role of Technical Coach and is an Osaka native. He has had experience in Brazil with the likes of São Paulo after finishing up at university. He may be young but his experience thus far has been excellent and I am sure he can grow at Gamba.

With these two men in, they complete the line-up for the 2014 season. It is good to see Kenta Hasegawa, Sidiclei, Marquinhos and Koichiro Yoshimichi still with the club. Good luck to everyone this season and please do you best!

Shigeru Yokotani makes his loan move to Kyoto Sanga a permanent one

Shigeru YokotaniAfter spending the entire 2013 season on-loan to Kansai rivals Kyoto Sanga F.C., it comes as no surprise that Gamba have agreed to let 26 year-old midfielder Shigeru Yokotani turn his loan deal into a permanent.

Yokotani only managed to make 27 appearances for Gamba in the 5 seasons he spent at our club, netting just once in that time against Kansai University in the Emperor’s Cup in 2012. Sandwiched between those 5 seasons, he spent 2 years out on loan to Ehime FC in a bid to get game time, playing 84 times in all competitions for the club, scoring 8 goals.

His inability to break into Gamba’s top team on his return forced him out to Kyoto Sanga where his best season came. He netted an impressive 11 goals from attacking midfield and was one of the club’s stand-out players. He also bagged 10 assists to his feathered cap in the league.

The move makes sense for him and the clubs involved; Yokotani himself has said that he has unfinished business with Sanga which would be the promotion they have been threatening for the last 2 seasons. Sanga have got a happy player who has the right conditions to grow even more with them. His chances of returning to Gamba were low considering he would not have been a first-team regular/starter.

Thank you to Shigeru for his hard work with us and good luck at Kyoto Sanga!

Photo taken from livedoor. No copyright infringement intended. Original here.