Cerezo Osaka and Nagoya Grampus announced the transfer of defensive midfielder Takahiro Ogihara from the former to the latter today. He had been rumored to join Takafumi Ogura’s side on loan, but the both sides agreed on a permanent deal.

Ogihara joined Cerezo Osaka U-15 from Sakai Kita FC in 2004. After 6 years in the youth system, he signed a professional contract with the first team in 2010.  He has received much expectations as a tall and left-footed defensive midfielder who is very good at long-range passing, and gradually gained playing opportunity.

He was also chosen for Japan’s U-23 national team for the London Olympics in 2012, playing 5 out of 6 games. In the next year, he got the first cap for the (top) national team. This is the first time for him to play at other club after his 12-year stay at Cerezo.

After they permitted Hotaru Yamaguchi’s move to Hannover 96 in December last year, Cerezo signed two defensive midfielders during that transfer window, Kazuya Yamamura and Souza, and these two players have basically assumed defensive midfielder positions this season, and as a result, Ogihara appeared in just 4 games so far. That’s why he made the first move in his professional career.

Leaving permanently (not on loan) definitely gives us a big surprise, while some may say that it is the right decision for him in order to perform his full potential. Ogihara leaves a message on the official website, saying “I decided to leave this excellent club because I’ve got a strong feeling that I want to make a challenge.”

Thank you very much for your contribution to the team for 6 years. Good luck at Nagoya, Taka!