Ritsu Doan (GAMBA OSAKA, Japan)
Position: Attacking midfielder / Secondary Striker / Left winger / Right winger
2017 stats (as of 20th June with 14 rounds played): 8 games (393 minutes) – 3 goals – 0 assists – 1 yellow card – 0 red cards
Asian Champions League: 6 games (224 minutes) – 1 goals – 0 assists
Ritsu Doan is a small but very hard-working Japanese attacking midfielder that made his senior debut for Gamba Osaka a few years back when he was just 16-years-old and very quickly in the last few campaigns he is progressing to the level of being rated these days as one of the future big stars of Japanese football
This 2017 season that is just halfway through seems to be the breakthrough year for Ritsu Doan (now age 19) on the big stage and despite starting just 4 times in the 14 rounds that are gone at the time of writing of this article the little wizard already scored 3 J-League goals that could be witnessed in the links below:
https://youtu.be/R2ijKkd7tHQ (scored goals 3 and 6, plays with No. 38)
Ritsu Doan might be small in size, but his ability to place low shots from middle and long distance on target and the versatility in terms of positions he is capable to occupy makes him a real gem. Gamba are not only using him a lot in the J-League but they also gave him plenty of playing time in the Asian Champions League this season with Doan taking part in 6 of the 8 matches and even scoring 1 goal.
Ritsu Doan was also one of the biggest stars in the just finished U20 World Cup where he was again scoring goals at will. Early in his career Doan was used mostly as a wide midfielder, he can play both down the left and down the right with great success, but from April onwards he was tested in a new role that seems to suit him a lot. In the last few months Doan has been playing as an attacking midfielder or a secondary striker and as his ability to use both of his feet is very good this allows him to open the play a lot for his teammates.
Without a doubt Ritsu Doan was evaluated as a future big star from very early on by Gamba Osaka’s coaches and with his development taking a sharp upward curve in 2017 one wonders if it is not time for the young talent to move on to the next level. Without a doubt Doan is still not a proven star, but with such quick development witnessed in just a few months since the start of 2017 it seems that he is already an accomplished player that can dribble, cross, shoot, pass and even tackle very well. One thing guaranteed about Ritsu Doan is that he will always leave on the pitch everything he has and despite his small statue he is destined for big things.