Yosuke Ideguchi insists full focus is on Celtic as he outlines aims to 'step up' next season

By Lewis Laird

June 27, 2022

Celtic midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi has outlined his aims for the season with both club and country, stating that his ‘ultimate goal’ is success with the Hoops.

The former Gamba Osaka man has now been at Parkhead for around six months, and on his arrival, many fans were intrigued to see how he would perform under Ange Postecoglou. This was due to Ideguchi’s reputation for his international team, and having already spent a short time in Europe, contracted to Leeds United.

However, the midfielder was reduced to a bit-part role during Celtic’s title push in the second half of the campaign, making rare appearances off the bench due to various different reasons. After picking up an injury, on his return, Ideguchi found it tough to break into Ange Postecoglou’s side who were now in full flow, and he was handed very few opportunities.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

That certainly doesn’t look to have knocked the 25-year-old’s confidence, though, with the Japanese internationalist remaining determined to get back to the top of his game. Speaking in an interview with Japanese outlet Number Web, Ideguchi revealed his ambitions to return to the international stage and add to his 15 caps for his national side.

He said: “I think the results of goals and assists are important, but in my case, it’s also a difficult part. I’m not a very aggressive player, so it’s not easy. It’s just a part of what is required, so I want to keep aiming for it. It’s about playing consistently as a team, and I think that’s when the Japan national team comes into view. I don’t want to think too far ahead; I want to do it one day at a time.

“My ultimate goal is to step up at the club level, but now I want to be involved in as many matches as possible and contribute to the title next season.”

Ideguchi could be like a new addition to Celtic squad next season

There is no doubting that Ideguchi was very unlucky upon his arrival in Glasgow.

The midfielder couldn’t really catch a break regarding injuries and the team’s form. It became almost impossible for him to break into the side.

However, this summer should provide the ex-Leeds man with a fresh start and the opportunity to begin his Celtic career.

Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images

In the very few appearances he made under Postecoglou, Ideguchi looked like a very tidy player in the middle of the park and was also praised by the Celtic manager for his work rate in training.

So, he now has the chance to show the 56-year-old what he can bring to the table in pre-season.

As the cliche goes, he could be like a new signing for Postecoglou, and I am sure that would be a welcomed boost to the preparations for the 2022/23 campaign.

In other news, Report: Nir Bitton involved in contract standoff as post-Celtic move unclear.