Ex-Basel forward Kakitani returns to Cerezo

Ex-Basel forward Kakitani returns to Cerezo

Yoichiro Kakitani revealed his desire to help Cerezo Osaka become a big club was the reason behind his return on a full transfer from FC Basel on Monday.

Kakitani began his career with Cerezo in 2006 and blossomed into a talented attacker while on loan at Tokushima Vortis.

The 26-year-old subsequently joined Basel after representing Japan at the 2014 FIFA World Cup after netting eight goals in 27 appearances in all competitions for the Swiss.

However, the Osaka native confirmed he could not turn down the chance to help Kiyoshi Okuma’s men fight for promotion next season, stating: “The decision to return home was difficult.

“But in the end my desire to play for Cerezo Osaka and help it become a bigger club was strongest.

“I’m happy to be able to fight alongside Cerezo’s supporters once more.”

Kakitani joins as part of a major rebuilding process at the club, with Shohei Kiyohara and Mitsuru Maruoka already signed for the next campaign.