The Zoom call from Ange Postecoglou that sealed Celtic transfer

Daizen Maeda has outlined the reason why he initially said no to Ange Postecoglou when his former manager at Yokohama F.Marinos first offered the forward the chance to join him in Scotland.

With unfinished business at Yokohama, Maeda wanted to fulfil his commitments there before looking at a new adventure alongside Ange at Celtic and it’s certainly been worth the wait for all parties Just how good was that finish from Maeda on Saturday against Norwich?

Maeda has pretty much been a fans favourite at Celtic from the moment he stepped off that plane at Glasgow airport and started getting selfies taken with fans. He scored his first goal against Hibs in the first few minutes after play resumed after the winter break and played a key role in turning around a six points deficit to overtake theRangers on that never to be forgotten night on 2 February where Celtic went top and stayed there.

Maeda has also forced his way into the Japan squad alongside his Celtic teammate Kyogo and both players will have high hopes of representing their country at the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year.

Speaking to the Japanese outlet Sports Graphic Number Web, the Celtic forward outlined how his move to Celtic eventually came about and how Ange Postecoglou managed that situation so well.

“I’m very grateful to Ange for bringing me to both Marinos and Celtic. When I went to Marinos, I struggled because I had hardly played on the left side, but they kept using me because they trusted me and said I could do it,” Maeda explained.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 16: Daizen Maeda of Celtic is seen in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Celtic and Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park on July 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Celtic had actually asked me last summer, but I had turned them down because Marinos were also fighting for the championship at that time. Ange told me to go and win the championship.

“After the J-League season, he contacted me directly via Zoom and told me that he really wanted me to come, so I decided to move.

“Ange’s character doesn’t change at all, whether it’s at Yokohama or Celtic. Maybe that’s why I want to follow him. In Celtic meetings, I often hear stories from my time at Marinos, and no matter how many times I hear them, they still resonate. For me, he is a very good manager.”

Maeda, like Reo Hatate look set to make a huge impact this season now that they have had a break and a pre-season with the club. Hatate in particular looked to have faded towards the end of last season after playing an entire season in the J-League before continuing at Celtic without a rest.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 17: Daizen Maeda of Celtic celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hibernian FC at on January 17, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And Ideguchi could also have a major impact this season as the holding midfielder that we’ve been looking for. Perhaps Ange has already made that signing?

Kyogo was sensational in his first season yet will want to avoid injury that derailed his campaign midway through. How many goals would he have scored had he not pulled his hamstring up in Perth on Boxing Day?

With the World Cup looming certainly two, maybe three of the Celtic players from Japan could earn themselves a place in the Japan squad for Qatar. And the way to do that is to impress playing for Celtic.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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