Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Oti Essigba finally makes debut for Japanese side Vegalta Sendai

Tue, 20 Apr 2021 Source: Ghana Soccernet

Ghanaian forward Emmanuel Oti Essigba has finally arrived in Japan. Upon completing the required quarantine period, the talented player made an impressive debut in his first game on Sunday.

First foreign player passing ‘J-bubble’Emmanuel Oti is one of the first foreign players adapting to the new transfer rules set by J-League becasue of the covid-19 pandemic. The 24-year-old got the jersey number 29 after finishing a 14 day quarantine “J-bubble” period at a designated facility. Last month, J-League set up “J-Village” (Naraha Town, Hirono Town) in Fukushima Prefecture as a private training and accommodation venue for newly arrived foreign players to pass their quarantine period. 

The J-League’s chairman Mitsuru Murai said, "while we are preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics, we will be a pioneer in welcoming foreign athletes safely. We have a great responsibility beyond the J-League." Athletes entering the reserved accommodation building will undergo four PCR tests and daily antigen tests for 14 days. In preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, J-League is taking a step ahead in ensuring the safety of athletes coming from abroad.  

Challenging time for the clubWithout special measures taken in response to the covid-19 situation, Vegalta Sendai would have been demoted in the previous season to 17th place. The current situation  is very challenging and the realistic goal for the club is to not drop out from J1 League. All the clubs in the J-League faced massive financial challenges last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 80% of all 56 clubs run a budget deficit as revenues from sponsors and ticket sales decreased significantly for the last year. During the absence of J-League fixtures, both Japanese bookmakers and the soccer lottery only offered European football markets like bundesliga. 

The key reinforcements in Vegalta Sendai for this season were delayed partly because of the late appointment of the coach at the end of last year. The club managed to acquire some immediate forward reinforcements. However, more players left the club than those who joined. It was already obvious before this season’s opening that Vegalta Sendai needed to reinforce forward to keep its place in the J-1 League. 

Meeting the high expectations On Sunday, Emmanuel Oti joined the game in the latter half of the 12 minute and broke through the left just before the end, creating a corner kick. This helped the team score a subsequent goal and ended in a 2-2 tie against Yokohama FC, which made a stop to the six consecutive losses. 

Some of the media was already predicting Emmanuel Oti as an Idaten’ attacker before his debut. The word ‘Idaten’ originates from ‘skanda’ and often describes a person who is a fast runner.

Other media called him ‘a potential detonator in Vegalta Sendai’ as he can play both left and right and is particularly good with the left. Emmanuel Oti is now regarded as one of the new reinforcements to help the club get through this tough season. The prospects of the club’s survival are looking a little brighter now and expectations are certainly high for Emmanuel Oti.

Source: Ghana Soccernet
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