Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has identified Yosuke Ideguchi as the hardest worker at Lennoxtown despite his struggles since arriving in January.
Ideguchi has been back available for a month now after being out injured due to a crunching challenge away to Alloa back in January. However, despite being in matchday squads regularly, he hasn’t returned to the starting line-up and is seldom given much int he way of cameo appearances.
The former Gamba Osaka star looks to be one Ange is waiting until next season to unleash. Even this early, pre-season looks like it’s going to be massive for the Japanese international.
But despite his slow start, it’s clear Ange thinks the world of him as he gave him a glowing review in the Celtic View [Volume 57, Issue 3, page 13]:
“He’s probably been the unluckiest of the lot in that he got an injury early on just when he got himself to fitness, and it’s been a bit frustrating for him that I haven’t been able to give him more game-time. But with all of these guys, I didn’t buy them for the first 6 months.
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“They’re here for the next 3 or 4 years and I’ve no doubt he’ll become an important player for us over the course of time. He’s a team-focused guy and even when he’s not playing, you see him in training and he’s our hardest worker and that raises the levels for everyone.
“He knew what he was getting into so he’s adjusted really well and as a family they’ve made that decision and this is where they see their future and I think all those kinds of things help.”
Yosuke Ideguchi surprisingly labelled Celtic’s best worker
Ideguchi needs to take it as a major compliment that Ange has come out and given him that kind of tag. Remember, he’s in a dressing room with the likes of Callum McGregor, James Forrest, and Joe Hart respectively. Players who bring their all to training every day.
The fact Ange is putting Ideguchi’s work-rate above anyone else’s says a lot about him. Not just regarding his character but about his willingness to impress even if minutes are low.
At this stage, it’s probably safe to assume that game-time this season is unlikely for the midfielder. At least substantial game-time. Unless Celtic manage to wrap up the league before the final day, you can’t see where the opportunities will be for him to come into the starting line-up.
That’s just the reality of the situation. Ideguchi will understand that and he’ll know that the injury picked up in January has more or less ended his season. As harsh as that sounds, it’s difficult to disagree with it.
Ange also sounds as though he’s waiting to give him an opportunity. He sounds like a manger who WANTS to give Ideguchi an opportunity. And that time will indeed come if he remains patient and focuses on the long-term.
In the meantime, he’ll need to keep those work levels up at Lennoxtown. Getting a spot in this Celtic side won’t just be handed to anyone. Yosuke needs to keep trying to prove he’s earned it.