Soccer / J. League

Cerezo signs defender Yuta Koike from Belgium's Sint-Truiden

Kyodo

Cerezo Osaka have acquired defender Yuta Koike on a full transfer from Belgium’s Sint-Truiden, the J. League first-division side announced Saturday.

The 23-year-old left-back joined Kashima Antlers last season on loan from the Belgian top-flight side, playing in 14 J. League and 12 cup games.

He earned the J .League’s goal of the month award for his first professional goal after finding the net with a spectacular long-range strike in a 2-0 win over Jubilo Iwata on July 6.

The Albirex Niigata youth product moved to Sint-Truiden in 2018, but did not play in any official games for the Japanese-owned club which has been home to several Japanese players.

Cerezo also announced that 21-year-old goalkeeper Ahn Jun Su, a member of South Korea’s under-23 squad, will return to the club following a loan spell with J3 side Kagoshima United.

Cerezo finished fifth in the J1 last year in its first season under Spanish manager Miguel Angel Lotina.

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