Sensational clip shows why Celtic fans ought to be excited about Daizen Maeda speculation

By Euan Davidson

October 22, 2021

After this morning’s reports suggesting that Celtic could be about to sign Daizen Maeda [Times], excitement is understandable.

Given the enormous success of Kyogo Furuhashi, signing another J-League top scorer seems a no-brainer, doesn’t it? With Ange Postecoglou’s knowledge of the Japanese market, and a pre-existing relationship with Japan international Maeda, there’s reason to get excited on paper.

But there’s even more excitement when you actually watch him in action.

The Yokohama F Marinos talisman, primarily playing off the left, is absolutely clinical. Not just with goals either; he’s superb at picking out a pass to set up teammates in oceans of space.

Let’s pick a random example; how about his hat-trick for Yokohama F Marinos against Oita Trinita [J League]?

For his first [0.33], he wanders in from not being even on camera, to suddenly finding himself right in front of the goalkeeper, from just yards out. I’d praise his movement, but it’s so fast and out of nowhere that’s it’s hard to analyse.

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At 2.29, just look at recognition of an incoming pass, and his change of pace to meet the ball. From then, he squares it to the striker, and it’s an easy goal.

His second [3.13] comes from almost nothing, and is such a Postecoglou goal. From some simple passes in their own half, Yokohama F Marinos launch a ball to Maeda in the middle, who takes one touch to set himself, then loops it over a despairing keeper. Just lush.

He makes it a hat-trick with a header [4.14], completely losing his marker and finding himself in space pretty much on the goal-line to nod it home. As hat-tricks go, it’s very, very impressive stuff.

Daizen Maeda could be a special Celtic player if move goes through

We’ve had a heads-up this time. The Furuhashi signing came almost out of nowhere, even though it was something we’d hoped for.

With Maeda, it’s come a little out of the blue, but there’s plenty of time left between now and actually sealing the deal. Just because Celtic are “confident”, it doesn’t mean it’s a dead cert.

That said, if it there is reality to the link, then there’s plenty to get excited about here. Maeda is a quality player, and is still only 24 years old.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

His ability to read space and find gaps in defences is outrageous [J League]. You could make some grand generalisation about the standard of defending in these clips, but we’ve seen from Kyogo Furuhashi in the Europa League that unique positioning and spacing can unsettle any defence.

Again, let’s not get carried away by something that hasn’t happened yet. We know that better than most, especially this year.

Daizen Maeda, though, is a talent. Next to Jota, James Forrest, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Liel Abada and his compatriot Kyogo Furuhashi, it’s frightening to think how good this Celtic attack could be under Ange Postecoglou.

Read more: Celtic boss Postecoglou insists all of his defenders will have key role to play