Diazen Maeda was considered as Celtic’s marquee signing of January. The Japanese star had topped the J1 League scoring charts in 2021 despite not being an out-and-out striker and already had experience of playing under the management of Ange Postecoglou, from their time together at Yokohama F. Marinos. Thus, it is safe to say that there were very high expectations from the new signing.
He has found the going tough in Scottish football till now though. Of course, there is no question about his desire to work for the team and make something happen.
But in terms of finding the back of the net, he seems to be lacking at this point of time. And in the absence of Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis, he has not been able to be the goalscorer that Celtic have needed. Postecoglou does seem to have any doubt about the Japanese star though, and values the different things that he is bringing to the table.
As reported by The Scotsman, the Celtic manager said about Maeda:
“People look for different things, but I know what I get from Daizen and why I brought him to this club. A lot of people don’t see the work he does. The reason St Mirren got nowhere near our penalty box was because Daizen was constantly pressuring their goalkeeper who is great with his feet. Every player has a role. Sometimes you don’t get all the headlines, but within the four walls at Celtic Park, he gets his due recognition.”
Postecoglou makes big claim about the Celtic January signing
It is true that Maeda is bringing a lot of different things to the table. But at the end of the day, the man leading the line will always be judged by the amount of goals that he scores. And he is not doing that enough right now.
It is not like he does not know his way to the back of the net. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he scored 23 goals in 36 J1 League appearances for Yokohama F. Marinos in the 2021 season.
He just probably needs more time to settle into his new surroundings and build up a better understanding with his Celtic teammates.
Maeda’s first season with Yokohama F. Marinos was not great either but he came into his own in the following campaign. That is cause for optimism for Celtic fans.
This article was originally posted here