Sakai in action.
A new man for VfB
VfB have agreed terms with Albirex Niigata on a loan deal for defender Gotoku Sakai until June 2013, with a subsequent option to buy. The deal is subject to a medical examination which Sakai will undergo in the New Year.
“A German mother but still typically Japanese”
The 1,76 meter tall 20 year old son of a German mother and Japanese father was born in New York but grew up in Japan, where he also learned his trade. The Japanese ‘Under 23’ international, who is just as comfortable on the left as he is on the right, made his professional debut with Albirex Niigata in March of 2009. Since then, he has made 74 appearances for the club in the J-League, scoring one goal. Gotoku Sakai is a pacy and aggressive tackler, who is already a part of the extended Japanese national team. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Sakai was one of three ‘Support Players’ – youngsters who worked with Shinji Okazaki & Co. in training and at the tournament. At the beginning of this year, the new VfB signing was in the national team that won the 2012 Asian Championship: “Gotoku and I know one another very well. He has a German mother but he is still typically Japanese. He is a two-footed player who is willing to put in a great deal of leg work and, even as a defender, has a drive to push forward,” explained VfB attacker Shinji Okazaki on his fellow countryman.
Fredi Bobic on the new signing: “Gotoku Sakai is a player with real prospects, who is strong with both his left as well as his right foot. I’ve rarely seen a player of that age who is so capable as a right or as a left full-back. We’ll give him the time he needs to settle in the Bundesliga. I’m sure he can become a very valuable player for VfB.”