Celtic hero Daizen Maeda ready to blow everyone away next season

By David Walton

May 9, 2022

Celtic hero Daizen Maeda has stated that he’s planning to return to his absolute best next season once he finally gets a break under his belt.

Maeda has been playing constant football ever since the beginning of the 2021 J-League campaign. Indeed, Daizen played out a full campaign for Yokohama Marinos before arriving at Celtic Park back in January.

Since then, he’s been in electric form as he’s settled into life in Glasgow well whilst notching 8 goals in the process. Even at this early stage of his Celtic career, the supporters have already fallen in love with him. That’s much in part due to his energy and 100%% commitment on and off the ball.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But Maeda believes he has another level to reach and has admitted that he’s targeting reaching it next season.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Maeda said: “I have been playing since the beginning of last season in Japan. After this season is over I will have to take enough rest to be ready to go again next season. I want to be at my best next season but I will think about that after I have had a rest first.

“There is no big difference between domestic games and Champions League to me. I like to enjoy every game I play the same way. Europe is one of our objectives, of course. But we have to get results in domestic leagues and in domestic cups to make that happen.

“We don’t pick one over the other. We want to get good results in absolutely every game we play.”

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Daizen Maeda ready to step it up a gear at Celtic next season

It’s difficult to even imagine what a next-level Daizen Maeda would look like. After all, he certainly couldn’t get any sharper when it comes to his pressing and the energy levels he puts into the game.

There can of course be improvements in his finishing and crossing when in the final third. Despite his return, that has been an area of his game that could clearly be worked on. But he’s been such a menace regardless that it’s generally gone unnoticed.

It’s also scary to think that Daizen is only 24 years of age. There’s still so much development left within him and it could be the case that we’re talking about a genuinely top-class player in the long-term. He’s certainly at the right place to blossom with Ange Postecoglou giving him regular exposure.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic will of course need to purchase Maeda for £1.6m this summer when his loan deal expires [Scottish Daily Mail, 01/01, backpage]. But even that fee looks like daylight robbery now.

For all of these Celtic players, UCL qualification is all that matters. Getting into Europe’s top competition will be key in their personal, respective development paths. It’s why it’s such a carrot for Ange heading into the summer. The level of player he can bring to Celtic Park has cranked up a notch.

But Daizen has already cemented his spot at Parkhead for next season. All eyes then on how much he kicks on after a well-earned break.

In other news, Dundee Utd boss sounds like he could prioritise Ross County “cup final” over Celtic