“I hope more Japanese players will join Celtic in the future,” Shunsuke Nakamura

Shunsuke Nakamura certainly made his mark at Celtic, winning three league titles, two League Cups and a Scottish Cup in just four years with the club, not to mention particularly standout strikes against theRangers – and that goal to defeat Manchester United at Celtic Park.

Imago/AFLOSPORT – Shunsuke Nakamura  2006, Yokohama F Marinos – Celtic Glasgow 3:0, Test, Testspiel, Photo Aktion Personen

Now with Celtic having signed three further Japanese stars to add to the summer signing of the superb Kyogo Furuhashi, in Yosuke Ideguchi, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate – who has already followed his Japanese countryman into ‘skelping folklore – Nakamura, speaking to the latest edition of the club’s quarterly magazine, Celtic View,  has given his take on Ange Postecoglou’s Fab Four from Japan and it’s fair to say Nakamura believes Celtic have picked up some superb talent, with the former Celt, still playing in his homeland at the age of 43, believing there may well even be more to follow.

“Their success is a genuine pleasure for me and I’m very glad to see Ange Postecoglou take charge and take four Japanese players over who are all playing well.

“I think Celtic have four really good players. Yosuke has more than 10 caps for Japan and is a great talent. Reo is only getting better by the day and won two league titles in Japan. Daizen is very quick and has all the ability required for modern football and matches the style of the manager.

“I hope more Japanese players will join Celtic in the future and help the club. I am one of the Celtic supporters in the Far East now and I hope they will all carve their name in the history of the club. I wish them the best of luck.”

Shunsuke Nakamura and Koki Mizuno warm up during a Celtic training session ahead of their UEFA Champions league match against Barcelona February 19, 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Ange Postecoglou has said from the beginning that the Japanese stars should be seen as individual talents in their own right, and rightly so. As such it’s probably best we all avoid any comparisons with Shunsuke Nakamura, but early indications are Celtic have signed talents from Japan who will have a long-standing influence at Celtic in the coming years.

Photo: Imago/AFLOSPORT

And with a ringing endorsement from a player who knows just what it takes to make the grade at Celtic, it adds to the anticipation surrounding Celtic’s Japanese imports, and the possibility of further transfers from the Asian market that are likely to follow in the summer.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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