Reported Celtic target Daizen Maeda and his unbelievable J League record

By Euan Davidson

October 22, 2021

Reported Celtic target Daizen Maeda could be bringing his unbelievable pace to Scotland, according to The Times.

We’ve already been over his ability to score an array of finishes, but there’s something else about Maeda that will excite Celtic supporters, if indeed Postecoglou can land his former forward.

It’s pace. So, so much pace. Daizen Maeda doesn’t just have the record for the most sprints in a J League game with 64. No, that would be too simple, too linear.

Instead, he’s smashed the record repeatedly. Of the top 10 most sprints in a J League game, Maeda has 8.

Postecoglou’s former charge at Yokohama F Marinos, and a Japan international, Maeda mixes clever movement with unbridled energy and willingness to run for his team.

You’ll notice that number 3 on that list is our own Japanese sensation Kyogo Furuhashi. But it begs the question; just how fast and clinical can Celtic make their frontline?

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We already have speed merchants in Jota and Abada. James Forrest, even at 30, will beat most defenders over 20 yards. Mikey Johnston, Karamoko Dembele, even Owen Moffat; all have the requisite pace for Postecoglou’s team.

Maeda, though, could bring it up a notch. That’s genuinely exciting to think about.

Just imagine a front-line with Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi under Ange Postecoglou at Celtic

Nothing’s confirmed yet, so we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

But from a purely hypothetical point of view, just imagine it. With Postecoglou’s insistence on lightning-fast counter attacks, movement to bamboozle defenders and excellent finishing, Celtic could run up cricket scores domestically.

It’s enough that he’s the top scorer in Japan (now Furuhashi’s gone). That would’ve been tantalising in and of itself, the idea of Celtic adding another goalscorer to the ranks at Parkhead.

Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

But it’s the movement of Maeda that makes this even more alluring.

Maeda, now a firm household name in Japan, considered quitting the game at one stage. Interestingly, he considered training to be an Olympic sprinter or a gymnast [via the Sun].

That explains a fair amount. What a signing this could be if Celtic were to pull it off, and trust Ange Postecoglou’s judgement in the Japanese market.

Read more: Kyogo Furuhashi evokes Fast Show character in fantastic Celtic training footage