129-cap international bigs up rumoured Celtic January window target
Daizen Maeda, linked with Celtic for the January transfer window, has been praised by 129-cap Japan international Yuto Nagatomo.
Nagatomo, who played in Europe with Cesena, Inter Milan, Marseille and Galatasaray, is now back in Japan. He’s playing for FC Tokyo, who were dealt an 8-0 loss by Maeda and co when they played Yokohama F Marinos.
Maeda came away with a hat-trick, exhibiting his outstanding pace and finishing. The Japan international has been heavily linked with a move to Celtic under his former manager, Ange Postecoglou [Times].
His current manager, Kevin Muscat, hoped the Yokohama F Marinos win wouldn’t make the European press. Of course, it did. But Muscat was joined in his praise of Maeda by Nagatomo, who knows all about making it in Europe.
And it was the pace and running of Daizen Maeda that caught the 129-cap man’s eye.
Nagatomo said of Maeda’s movement [Gekisaka]:
“I think he is one of the few players in the world with [such] a strong weapon.
“Not only is he fast, but he also has good timing for running to the back and has continuity. He can sprint a lot, and he can defend, so I thought he was a tricky opponent to play against.”
Praise indeed for rumoured Celtic target Daizen Maeda
If you’re a young Japanese footballer, there are a few names you’d want praise from. Keisuke Honda, for sure. Shunsuke Nakamura, another player who was a hit in Europe, specifically for Celtic, is another.
Of the current crop of Japan internationals though, Nagatomo is the one to listen to. A veteran of Serie A and the Super Lig, the full-back has got into some very impressive sides. He was twice a Turkish champion with Galatasaray.
Not only that, the sheer number of caps he’s got means he’s seen plenty of talents come and go from the national team. That he’s selecting Daizen Maeda for praise is meaningful.
Celtic fans don’t really need to be sold any more on the Yokohama F Marinos forward. By now, the rumours have escalated to such a point that it’d be more surprising if he didn’t end up at Celtic.
Mind you, though, it’s high praise. And Nagatomo’s name will be well-known to Ange Postecoglou.