Soccer / J. League

Defender Gen Shoji joins Gamba Osaka after stint in France

Kyodo

Former Japan defender Gen Shoji is moving from French club Toulouse to Gamba Osaka, the J. League club announced Monday.

Shoji, a Hyogo Prefecture native, played for Gamba’s youth organization when he was in junior high school.

The 27-year-old began his professional career with the Kashima Antlers in 2011 before transferring to Toulouse in the French top division for the 2018-19 season.

He was a key member of Japan’s squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where Samurai Blue reached the round of 16.

Shoji went scoreless in 18 games during his first season with Toulouse. His time on the pitch this season has been drastically reduced due to injuries.

Gamba Osaka finished seventh in the J. League first division last season. The 2020 J1 season begins on Feb. 21.

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