Kaoru Mitoma was ‘flattered’ by Celtic interest before joining Brighton

Brighton’s rising Japanese superstar, Kaoru Mitoma has admitted that he had a real opportunity to join Celtic before he decided to join the Premier League club, saying he was flattered by the interest shown in him from Ange Postecoglou and the Parkhead outfit. It comes after news emerged recently that Ange was interested in bringing him to Glasgow when he first signed for the Bhoys.

Postecoglou revealed that both Kyogo Furuhashi and Mitoma where the ones he earmarked to the European club’s heirarchy as the ones to plunder from the J-League, with both possessing unparalled potential to hit it big over here in Europe. We didn’t manage to snap up Mitoma and now Brighton are reaping the benefits, but we haven’t been too let down with the imports from Asia we’ve had of late.

With Kyogo hitting 50 goals already for the Hoops inside two seasons, Reo Hatate proving a major find and asset in the midfield berth, and also having a pressing machine in Daizen Maeda on the left-forward position, the Celtic supporters don’t have much to complain about, thanks to Ange’s great eye for a player and his ability to make his signings even better.

Undeniably, Mitoma would have been a sensation at Celtic Park as we always have a place for a player of such style and class. Just like Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura before him, Glasgow’s Green and White have always reserved a special place for special players. Alas, it wasn’t to be but we won’t be beating ourselves up too badly as the Premier League can prove just too attractive for many footballers.

Speaking on Optus Sport, the 25-year-old playmaker revealed that he was flattered by the interest but that the big lights of the English Premier League were just too much to ignore. “I was flattered, but also I knew that the Premier League has the highest level of football in the world”, he stated. This was why I accepted Brighton’s offer straight away. I did give some time to think about Celtic too, however, my desire to play in the strongest league in the world was very high, as well as my desire to play with and against the best players in the world.”

Just like his comrades at Celtic Park, the trickster is helping put Japan on the map and can’t be prouder of this. He added: “A lot more people in Japan have started to watch Brighton and the Premier League these days. I have also noticed that I am getting more exposure back home, so this is all great to hear.”

There will come a time when our Japanese Bhoys may well be joining Mitoma in the Premier League but hopeully it’s not too soon. The ability of all three men won’t be easily replaced and if they leave the Hoops, it won’t be for a club like Brighton, that’s for sure!

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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