Why Brendan Rodgers isn’t desperate to sign a new striker for Celtic

It doesn’t look like Brendan Rodgers will be too concerned about adding another striker to his squad this summer to provide additional competition to Kyogo and Hyeongyu Oh. There’s a simple enough reason for that. The Celtic manager believes that already has the third striker at the club and that’s Wednesday’s hat-trick hero Daizen Maeda.

Ange Postecoglou wanted to play Maeda but Kyogo was always his first pick striker, something that upset Giorgos Giakoumakis enough for his to want away. Jota found himself moved from his preferred position on the left wing to the right for much of the season, arguably weakening his impact and that of course restricted Liel Abada’s minutes, maybe a reason why he’s these days the subject of transfer speculation.

You can’t keep all the players happy and that’s something that an experienced manager like Brendan Rodgers will be well aware of. However you shipping out Jota for £27m to Saudi Arabia and with two new wingers already signed, moving Daizen to the central position in the forward line seems to be a sensible plan as the Celtic manager has explained while in Japan.

“I thought Daizen was outstanding against Yokohama,” Brendan said as reported by Glasgow Times. “I like him more through the middle. I think he does a good job on the side. But there is a reason he plays for Japan through the middle.

“I think his penetration and his movement is terrific. I was really impressed with his touch too, because I think he’s usually a player who is running away from the ball. But when he had to link the game and set the game I thought he was very good. And how he threatened their backline was excellent.

“On top of that his pressing is phenomenal. I like players at the top end who can really press the game and Daizen can definitely do that.

“Kyogo has obviously been brilliant for Celtic. But he’s still working his way to fitness. He’s had a bit of an issue with his shoulder, hence the reason he only came on (against Yokohama). But I thought Daizen was outstanding.

“There are parts of his game to develop but we don’t want him to be one who is running away from the ball. When defences are deep we need the front players to come off it, lay the ball off and get in the box. It’s an important aspect of football and I could see on Wednesday that Daizen could do that as he was excellent.

“It’s just about adding to players’ development. Daizen is still a young player who can improve. Of course, his strength is running in behind but sometimes there won’t always be that space. So can we develop his game and get him into areas he can work the defenders?

“But we could see from that 60 minutes against Yokohama he can do a bit of everything – and score goals. He’s a very honest player who will play anywhere for the team. He’s done a really good job playing out wide. But when I look at his strengths he’s very much suited to playing central.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. So in January when Oh Kyogo and Daizen are all off at the Asian Cup … what do we do ???