Daizen Maeda and Kyogo are both on international duty with Japan as their national team prepares for upcoming friendly matches, first with Paraguay in two days’ time – and then a cracker against Brazil four days later.
Both players will then be part of a Japanese squad competing for the Kirin Cup, where they’ll face up to Ghana and either Tunisia or Chile.
And it appears Maeda in particular is in red-hot form as this training ground video released by Japanese publication Gekisaka shows – it’s well worth a look, as when it comes to one on one’s our Duracell bunny of a player also looks to have all the composure of a natural striker.
Both Kyogo and Maeda will be looking to impress Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu, with these fixtures possibly the last chance to convince the manager that a place in the squad for the upcoming World Cup is deserved.
And Moriyasu has already indicated for the match with Brazil both Maeda and Kyogo’s pace is a ‘weapon’ he intends to utilise.
“We are building towards our final squad for the World Cup and to play a team like Brazil with so many wonderful players will be a great test for us. They have global superstars like Neymar and Vinicius Junior who we are told will be coming to Japan.”
“Brazil have many wonderful players, but so do we. We have players in great shape like Furuhashi who has now scored 20 goals for the season with Celtic and Maeda too. They are two very quick players and we know that opponents dislike that. I want to make use of their speed as a Japanese weapon.”
So far both Kyogo and Maeda have yet to nail down starting slots in Moriyasu’s Japan side, but it’s clear their manager is keeping a close eye on how both players are progressing at Celtic and he certainly seems impressed.
The best way to convince entirely of course is to put the ball in the net in Japan’s upcoming matches. With Maeda having yet to score in four international caps, he in particular will have to show club form can transfer to the international stage, and going by this training video, Maeda is setting himself up to do just that.
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