It may not even be November yet, but Celtic seemingly have a first January signing in the works as they target Yokohama F. Marinos ace Daizen Maeda.
The Times report that Celtic are confident of signing Maeda when the January transfer window opens.
Japanese sources believe that the deal will be done for January, with Ange Postecoglou driving the interest.
Postecoglou knows the Japanese market well having managed Yokohama F. Marinos before his move to Celtic.
The Australian engineered a move for Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe, and could now return to raid his former club for Maeda.
Small, quick and versatile in attack, you can see why Maeda is seen as another Furuhashi at Celtic.
Maeda could be perfect for Angeball at Celtic
If Celtic want to know more about Maeda, some stats from the J1 League sum him up.
In September, the J1 League Twitter account posted stats of the most sprints by any player in Japan’s top flight this season – running from February until this coming December.
These were recorded on a game-by-game basis, and you can see current Celtic star Furuhashi third on the list with a high of 53 sprints.
Eight of the top 10 are unbelievably given to Maeda, sitting with the top two with more than 60 per game.
Three entries in a row were Maeda with 46 sprints in a game, with the forward simply inexhaustible.
That’s what Postecoglou wants from his forwards; high energy, high pressing, high intensity.
To be better than Furuhashi in this area not once but twice is hugely impressive, and shows exactly why he looks Celtic-bound.