Cerezo Osaka announced today that Japan international Hiroshi Kiyotake joined the team from Sevilla FC. His return came after more than 4 years since he left Cerezo to join Nurnberg in the sunmer of 2012, soon after finishing the London Olympics in the fourth place.
Kiyotake, one of the best products from Oita Trinita’s academy, joined Cerezo in 2010, when they got promoted to J1 from J2, in part as a replacement of Shinji Kagawa who was expected to leave (and actually left) the team that year. Although he suffered from injury, he made an impact at Cerezo, even wore the number 8 shirt in 2012, and won a ticket for Europe.
After playing 4 seasons in Germany with Nurnberg and Hannover, he moved to Spain and joined Sevilla last summer. While he made a good start there, scoring a goal in the first league game, he failed to get playing opportunity and had to leave the team as Sevilla signed other non-EU player this winter.
The details of the deal hasn’t been disclosed but according to a journalist of Radio Marca Sevilla, Cerezo will pay Sevilla a fee of €5m. This may be one of the biggest transfer fees paid by Japanese clubs. His annual salary was said to be ¥200m, which is probably higher than any other Cerezo players, but it’s not certain how much he will earn here.
There must be yeas and nays about his comeback, even among Cerezo supporters, and that’s quite understandable. In multiple senses, this signing is controversial. Definitely there is a concern financially. The transfer fee is very expensive, at least for a club which recently bought back Yoichiro Kakitani and Hotaru Yamaguchi and purchased the rights of Souza. I also think he should have continued his career in Europe if possible. But eventually he preferred to return to Japan “for personal reasons.” Whatever that reason is, one certain thing is that this signing will add enormous strength to the team. It may also increase the number of visitors to Yanmar Stadium Nagai and Kincho Stadium. And above all, it makes us excited, can’t wait for the new season to begin.
Welcome back, Kiyo!