Monday, June 27, 2022

Postecoglou Set To Reunite With This Japanese Attacker: Would He Emulate Furuhashi’s Celtic Success?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

The ‘Angeball’ is finally rolling at Parkhead after successive wins across competitions and the manager’s knowledge of the Japanese market might see Celtic securing the services of Yokohama F. Marinos attacker Daizen Maeda, the Times (as quoted by the Daily Record) has revealed. The stellar success story of Kyogo Furuhashi has convinced the board to explore the J1 League once more during the winter window.

The 24-year-old forward joined Marinos permanently earlier this year after an impressive loan and spent a brief stint under Postecoglou before the latter left for the Celtic role. However, he proved to be an instant hit with 18 goals and 3 assists so far this term in 30 league outings and his emergence might script a reunion with the former Socceroos chief in January.

Similar to Furuhashi, Maeda is versatile enough to feature from the left-hand flank, as a second striker or an outright ‘number 9’. He also spent a brief stint on loan in Europe with Portuguese outfit CS Marítimo and might ply his trade in Scotland soon to line up alongside ‘Kyogoal’.

Why Daizen Maeda Would Be A Welcome Addition For Celtic

The Japan international began his career with J2 League side Matsumoto Yamaga. He had successive loan spells with Mito HollyHock, Marítimo and Yokohama F. Marinos before the latter tied him down on permanent terms. His rapid rise in the top tier has not gone unnoticed and the Bhoys, having roped in a few exciting attacking names already, are keen on bolstering the set-up in terms of depth as well as quality.

Celtic target Daizen Maeda in action for Japan
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – JULY 28: Daizen Maeda #9 of Team Japan celebrates after scoring their side’s fourth goal during the Men’s Group A match between France and Japan on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on July 28, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Furuhashi has fired in 9 times and laid on 2 more in 14 Celtic appearances. His majestic scoring record, work rate and sheer dedication have earned him a cult status already among the Parkhead faithful. Filipe Jota and Liel Abada are exciting young prospects who have been productive from the wide, whereas a maiden Hoops goal on Saturday afternoon must have uplifted Giorgos Giakoumakis’ confidence after a difficult start to life in Glasgow. The void left by Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard has not been felt, thanks to the stellar form of their summer arrivals.

The Hoops have Albian Ajeti as the other striking option upfront. But the Swiss centre-forward failed to grab the opportunities during the injury absence of Furuhashi and Giakoumakis. Leigh Griffiths, surplus to requirements, has been sent out on loan whereas the likes of James Forrest and Mikey Johnston have lost their first-team status due to persistent fitness woes. It’s a new dawn at Celtic and the addition of Maeda would only jeopardize the future of their fringe stars in the coming days.

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