Daizen Maeda arrived at Celtic last January from Yokohama F. Marinos, after enjoying a fantastic season in Japan. There was a lot of excitement around his arrival from the very beginning, as he had already proven to be a success under the management of Ange Postecoglou at their previous club. And he has certainly proven to be a success in Glasgow as well.
Maeda might not have made the blistering start that many fans would have been hoping for but he has certainly become an integral part of this Celtic side. It is not just goals and assists that he is bringing to the table but his incredible ability to close down opposition players up top as well. His intensity is setting the tone for the Hoops going forward.
Maeda appears to have had the chance to join Celtic last summer as well but he ultimately decided to turn it down, and remain at Yokohama F. Marinos to challenge for the title there.
“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.
“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.”
Why Maeda decided to turn down Celtic move last summer revealed
Ultimately, it worked out fine for both Maeda and Celtic. While he might not have been able to win the title with Yokohama F. Marinos, he did end up arriving at Parkhead in January and played a part in the Hoops’ Premiership victory.
Maeda’s first season at Yokohama F. Marinos had not been great and comparatively, he has done a much better job at Celtic. Thus, there will be hopes that he could be even better this season, having settled into the team and his new surroundings.
Let’s see how things go from here for Maeda but it is safe to say that he is expected to have a big role to play for Celtic this season, as they look to defend the Premiership and also make an impression in the Champions League.
This article was originally posted here