The encouraging Celtic news concealed among Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi headlines

By Hamish Carton

March 15, 2023

Celtic pair Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi have suffered more international disappointment after being left out of the Japan squad named earlier today.

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu has chosen not to include the in-form Celtic duo for his side’s Kirin Cup matches against Uruguay and Colombia later this month.

Hatate and Kyogo weren’t part of the squad who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar last year.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As reported by the Japan Times’ Dan Orlowitz on Twitter, Moriyasu said: “I’ve watched all of Celtic’s games and seen what they’ve accomplished and their presence in the team.

“But there’s no bar to clear to be called up; it’s a comprehensive decision.

“We think about the level of the league and various other factors when making the decision. For this squad we focused on the squad from Qatar as well as some new players.”

While Hatate and Kyogo’s omissions have made the real headlines, there was more promising news concealed in the shape of Daizen Maeda.

The Celtic winger has been included in the squad, putting to bed any lingering fears over his recent injury suffered against Hearts.

As we told you the other day, Maeda had taken to Twitter to declare he was “ready to fight” again.

We are expecting him back soon, hopefully this weekend, but this is the first official sign we’ve received that all is well.

Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

That news is very encouraging given how important a player Maeda has been for us recently.

Moriyasu’s comments on the “level” of the Scottish Premiership and action in including Maeda seem contradictory at best. But it’s out-with our control.

For now, the current Japan international contingent at Celtic is just one. Hatate, Kyogo, Kobayashi and Iwata are on the outside looking in.

In other news, important dates for next season have been confirmed by the SPFL