Omiya Ardija have stunned fans by announcing that Brazilian striker Rodrigo Gral has returned to Yokohama F Marinos at the end of his loan period. The deal was originally arranged to last until the end of July, but every indication had been that it would be extended until the season finishes in December, with even the player himself suggesting that this looked likely. Gral became a starting XI player even under Toshiya Miura, a coach notoriously cautious when it comes to blooding new arrivals in the first team.
In doing so, he scored five times in eleven league and cup appearances for Ardija, who must now fall back on Hiroshi Morita, Naoto Sakurai, Manabu Wakabayashi and the hugely under-exploited Kota Yoshihara in their elusive search for a reliable goalscorer. The spotlight will also no doubt fall more strongly on young triallist Tiago, whose short initial period with the club is due to finish any day now - but the question remains, where will the Squirrels get their goals from?