Hiroaki Okuno (quoted from Vegalta Sendai official Facebook page)

Happy New Year! Here is the summary about Cerezo Osaka’s transfer and contract news coming out since the last post.

  • Ins – There have been a lot of rumors coming out since the last month and finally one of them has been officially confirmed: Vegalta Sendai midfielder Hiroaki Okuno joins Cerezo Osaka on a permanent deal. Okuno was born in Osaka in 1989 but started playing football in Tokyo, and joined Vegalta Sendai Junior Youth in 2002. After graduating from Sendai University, he signed a professional contract with Vegalta Sendai in 2012 and since then, he has played for the Tohoku side although he also played at V-Varen Nagasaki on loan in 2013 and 2014. In total, he has played 224 games and scored 30 goals in the league and cup games. Okuno, whose strengths are said to lie in stamina and intensity, is expected to fill in the blanks created by Yamaguchi’s leaving.
  • Contract renewal – The following players have renewed their contracts with the club: Kota Fujimoto, Yasuki Kimoto, Masataka Nishimoto, Eiichi Katayama, Motohiko Nakajima, Takaki Fukumitsu, Pierce Waring, Hiroto Yamada, Souza, Yang Dong-hyun, Toshiyuki Takagi, and Daichi Akiyama. Kota Fujimoto becomes the longest-serving player in the current squad after Noriyuki Sakemoto left, while Souza goes into his fourth season with Cerezo and becomes the second longest-serving foreign player for the club after Kim Jin-hyeon.