New Bhoy outlines Celtic leadership ambitions after class Paradise debut

By Euan Davidson

January 18, 2022

Confidence is a great thing; just ask new Celtic striker Daizen Maeda, who’s spoken about his ambitions after his excellent Paradise debut.

The new Bhoy, who scored after just 3 minutes and change against Hibs last night, was amazed by the Celtic Park atmosphere, and has expressed how delighted he was to score on his first Hoops start. As debuts go, both he and Man of the Match Reo Hatate, a fellow winter window arrival, were outstanding.

According to Maeda, though, it’s just the start. And he’s laid down his ambitions after making a dent in his first Parkhead experience. He’s said he wants to be a leader for Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic, while talking openly about the title race.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The former Yokohama F Marinos forward has put responsibility for goals on his own shoulders. All the while, he’s expressed his motivations and personality in the wake of his debut.

New Celtic signing Maeda said [STV]: “If we want to be champions, we have to be a good team and we have to keep scoring, no matter who plays.

“I have to score a lot of goals. If not, the team cannot become champions. I want to be a player who can lead Celtic.

“I want to show how I fight against the other team. This is what I want to show the fans.”

Celtic 2-0 Hibernian | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 2-0 Hibernian | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Fighting spirit will serve Daizen Maeda well at Celtic

Now, that’s what you like to hear. One game in and he’s talking about being Champions, fighting against the other team and scoring goals.

It’s exactly the attitude you want from a new Celtic player. Especially in a title race where there’s no margin for error whatsoever. Most likely, it’ll be a bout until the last day, and this Celtic team needs fighters.

Loathe as we are to talk about last season, there’s a massive upgrade in this iteration of the Celtic squad. The total absence of fight was a huge problem in 20-21, with not enough players performing to their usual standards. Ange Postecoglou has turned a squad with a significant lack of confidence into a unified outfit that’s capable of blowing teams away.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That resolve and leadership will be 100% needed in the next few months. Securing three points at every opportunity is – essentially – a must.

To do that, we need goal-scorers. With Kyogo still injured, it’s going to be a testing initial period for Daizen Maeda as he navigates his way around the Scottish game with Celtic. Giorgos Giakoumakis and Jota regaining fitness should be a boost, along with James Forrest and Liel Abada contributing.

But this is a unit that’s ready for a battle. And Maeda wants to put himself at the forefront.

Excellent, excellent stuff.

Read more: Juranovic and Abada respond as new Celtic star thanks supporters on Instagram