The Times,They Are A-Changing?
In a strange twist on the traditional nativity story of Christmas,three stars came from the east in search of a wise man. Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, and Reo Hatate will join up with their new colleagues when they start back in training shortly after their brief respite over the New Year,and will be looking to make an immediate impact.
Unbelievably,the total fees for all three look like coming in at around £5m-or change from an Albian Ajeti-and the people involved in getting this deal over the line deserve all the praise that has been coming their way.
Maeda has only just turned 24yo,though the suggestion remains that he had a hard paper round. Having flattered to deceive in the last couple of years since his breakthrough season in J2-league four years ago,he really blazed a trail in the season just gone,with 23 goals in 36 games,finishing as top scorer in the J-League. If you’ve seen the video of his goals which has been circulating,you will see a show of strength,a blur of speed,a range of finishes.
Reo Hatate,slightly younger than his compatriot,has played at left back,on both wings and as an attacking midfielder. While these are handy strings to anyone’s bow,I hope he settles into one of them at Celtic,and preferably the one where he is most comfortable and most effective.
Yosuke Ideguchi is “the old man” of the three at 25yo,and also has the most international caps. A central midfielder,he could be the Broonie replacement we have been looking for.
We should not,of course,expect miracles from these three. Not at first,anyway! They have just completed an arduous season in Japan,and I think they will be “played” into the side over the next few weeks and relied upon less frequently than we might expect of experienced new signings. Burning them out with a relentless schedule would not be the actions of a wise man!
But rather than welcome these new signings with open arms and abundant joy,our media darlings have been somewhat sparing in their praise. Keevins for instance wonders whether we can afford them-which is hilarious,given that it is our former Chief Financial Officer who completed and signed off on the deal. And that he hasn’t raised his snivelling pus above the parapet once to enquire about the source of the finances over Ibrox way. Michael Stewart,who has never been the same since being kicked off the BBC for not toeing the party line,questioned whether having four Japanese players meant we were sacrificing our identity. That will be the identity that his SMSM colleagues are always questioning anyway,I suppose?
As if any of us CGAF about their opinions,we are hardly their target demographic after all.
Now,these signings should NOT mean that our business is done for the month-but it is a bloody good start. And we really need to offer praise where it is due. Apart from being completed a month earlier than we have been used to in the January window,which strongly suggests that the three were identified a while ago,with feelers put out and negotiations begun in earnest,the fact that they all come from the J-League can only mean that these were players targeted specifically by our manager. Prior to the arrival of AP,I think the only time we have been sure that a signing was the work of the manager would be Scott Sinclair almost five years ago. Other than that,we have to go back to the days of Martin O’Neill.
So,the times,they are a-changing?
Well,it is far too soon to say for sure,but the early signs are certainly encouraging. Perhaps we will never again hear of a player turning up for training to be asked by the manager who he is. Or a manager saying we have millions of wingers,on hearing of our latest signing. Perhaps,in Michael Nicholson,we have a CEO who is happy to allow football people to deal with the football while he deals with the finances. And one,at that,who knows how to cut a good deal without causing lasting resentment from the other side.
Sure,there are a number of reasons for Celtic supporters to be absolutely delighted at these three signings. But if that last paragraph turns out to be true,then that is the best reason of all.
Above article by BMCUWP