The Maeda and Bernabei partnership could be special at Celtic next season
During the early stages of the summer window, it has been made clear that Ange Postecoglou is looking to add a new left-back to his squad.
The Celtic manager looks to have been granted his wish, with reports on Tuesday suggesting that the Hoops are closing in on a move for Argentinian full-back Alexandro Bernabei.
The 21-year-old is seen as an exciting talent coming out of South America and looks to be another brilliant pick-up by Postecoglou in the transfer market.
Bernabei won’t be guaranteed a starting spot in this Celtic side. Current left-back Greg Taylor will be putting up a fight for his position in the side, off the back of a strong end to the season.
However, there is no doubt that the Lanus defender will have his fair share of the minutes, with Postecoglou looking to use his entire squad during another busy season.
The Argentinian will have some learning to do in pre-season about his position and the demands that the Celtic manager puts on the full-backs within this team.
But, with Bernabei’s current attributes, he should fit in nicely once he is settled and used to his surroundings.
Those attributes include pace to burn and brilliant technical ability going forward, which should set him up nicely to link up with one of his future Celtic teammates.
That man being Daizen Maeda.
Maeda joined the club last January, initially on loan, before officially completing his permanent move as planned at the beginning of the summer.
Having previously worked with Ange Postecoglou at his previous club Yokohama F Marinos, big things were expected from the Japanese internationalist.
And Maeda didn’t disappoint during his first six months as a Celtic player, showing exactly why the 56-year-old was so keen to bring him on board.
Playing off the left, the 24-year-old has shown his ability both in an attacking and defensive sense, running his socks off for the entire 90 minutes of each game.
He has become a key cog within Postecoglou’s side, on the left of a front three alongside the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Jota.
The winger has also shown his ability to link up with the full-back playing behind him, which was regularly Greg Taylor during the second half of the season.
If he can strike up a similar relationship with incoming defender Alexandro Bernabei, that could be an extremely exciting prospect for this side.
Both players will leave opposition defenders fearing what they are about to face down the left-hand side, with the potential Celtic duo having the pace to take on their markers and constantly press whenever they lose the ball.
Ange Postecoglou continues to put the building blocks in place for this side to become more successful, and this move could take the Bhoys to a whole new level should Maeda and Bernabei strike up the partnership we hope to see.