Southeast Asia Indonesia

PSIS Land “Coup of the Century” with Marukawa and Fortes Signing

Barely a few days after the conclusion of the 2021/22 Liga 1 Indonesia season, PSIS Semarang have thrown the gauntlet in preparations for the upcoming 2022/23 season by landing two major signings. Last season’s Best Player Taisei Marukawa and last season’s Best Goal scorer Carlos Fortes were unveiled as the Mahesa Jenar‘s newest players last Friday – a huge statement of intent from the PSIS management as they seek to upset the league’s established order.

East Javan giants Persebaya Surabaya and Arema FC were left reeling as two of their best performers from the previous campaign have been snapped up for next to nothing by PSIS, who worked fast in building a squad capable enough of challenging for the Liga 1 title next season.

It was only a few days ago that Persebaya’s Taisei was recognized as the Liga 1’s Best Player of the 2021/22 season, thanks to his 17 goals and 10 assists – the first player in the league’s history to reach double figures in both stats. It was also only a few days ago that Fortes was awarded the Liga 1’s Best Goal for the 2021/22 season, with his bicycle kick in Arema’s 1-1 draw with Persija Jakarta in February standing out amongst the 735 goals scored in the 2021/22 campaign. The Portuguese striker is a proven goalscorer, having scored 20 goals for Arema in the 2021/22 season.

With both Taisei and Fortes having yet to agree on contract extensions with their respective clubs, PSIS seized advantage of the situation and swooped in with an offer that they couldn’t refuse. However, the Mahesa Jenar had to act quickly as the two players were also on the radars of Persija Jakarta and newly promoted duo Persis Solo and RANS Cilegon.

“We hope that the two players’ signing would elevate PSIS further, especially since we will return to the Jatidiri Stadium next season,” said PSIS Commissioner Juniarto as quoted from the club’s official website, referring to PSIS’ plan of returning to their newly-renovated stadium after playing their home matches away at Magelang for the past few years.

Taisei couldn’t hide his delight in signing for PSIS, saying, “Of course, I’m very happy to have signed for PSIS. There is plenty of good young players here and the stadium’s excellent too. I cannot wait to play here with this team. I want to win titles and we will fight hard for it.”

Fortes echoed Taisei’s sentiments, saying, “It’s an honor for me to be able to join PSIS. Hopefully, I could help the team do well next season and win many games too.”

With the addition of Taisei and Fortes, PSIS bid farewell to Brazilian midfielder Flavio Beck Junior and misfiring Jamaican striker Chevaughn Walsh, with the Mahesa Jenar set to retain Brazilian defender Wallace Costa and Chilean-Palestinian midfielder Jonathan Cantillana to complete their foreign player slots for the 2022/23 season.