Since arriving at Celtic in January, Daizen Maeda has gone through an up-and-down time. He would score his first goal for the Hoops just minutes into his debut, but then, he has also struggled in front of goal at times and many have questioned whether he is ready to lead the line for the Glasgow giants at the moment. He has been a regular part of Ange Postecoglou’s playing XI over the past couple of months though.
And while Maeda might leave a bit to be desired in front of goal, there is no question about his dedication to the cause of the team and the incredible pressing job that he does up front. There are very few players in the world who can maintain that intensity for the entire 90 minutes.
Celtic appear to have been handed an unexpected worry surrounding the Japanese star though, as he has pulled out of the Japan squad due to fitness and condition reasons.
Journalist Dan Orlowitz tweeted out regarding the situation:
Celtic suffer unexpected Maeda blow heading into Glasgow Derby against Rangers
Japan have some huge World Cup qualifiers coming up and it feels very unlikely that Maeda would have pulled out from the squad if not absolutely necessary.
Thus, Celtic fans must be worried how his condition is. Fortunately for the Hoops though, there is a two week break before they come up against the Rangers in one of the most important Glasgow Derbies in a long, long time.
Hopefully, this will give Maeda the time to recover and hopefully be fit enough to be available for the massive game at Ibrox.
But even if he is unable to do so, the Hoops could field a front three of Giorgos Giakoumakis, Jota and Liel Abada. Let’s see how things unfold over the coming weeks.
This article was originally posted here