During the second act of Wano, people expected him to be one of the two missing Red Scabbards (at the time, Kawamatsu and Denjiro) but Kawamatsu has been revealed to be a fishman and imprisoned in Udon for years and Denjiro was Kyoshiro (and not Zoro’s master, as a lot of people, including me, expected). So it couldn’t be either of them.
Others suspected him to be Oden, but we know for a fact that he died, executed by Kaido in front of everyone.
What does it leave us with? At this point, I personally expect this to be a plot line abandoned by Oda (yes, I know, “Oda never forgets” but he does create a lot of thing he leaves in a corner to be used in the future. Oda is a genius, but not because he planned everything from the beginning, he is a genius because he’s able to tie up a lot of little details into a satisfying continuity with no excessive plot holes) but I could be wrong.
This photo was from 2016/2017 so years before the beginning of Wano, that’s why I don’t think that Oda “forgot” about the character. If it was indeed intended to be Gaban the whole time, it is possible that Oda originally planned to introduce him during Wano but later realized that the arc was already packed with a lot of new characters to remember and introducing someone as big as the Roger Pirates’ third man would be too much.
What are your thoughts?