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Celtic’s Daizen Maeda opens up on positional change during international duty with Japan

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Several Celtic players are on international duty as club football takes a back seat for the time being following a successful campaign.

Brendan Rodgers will be looking far and wide to bolster his squad ahead of the new season; however, the Irishman will also have an eye on how some of his Bhoys fare for their respective countries.

Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda were in action for Japan yesterday as they extended their lead in the World Cup Second Round Group B phase, playing their part in a thumping 5-0 victory over Myanmar.

Hatate lasted 45 minutes before being withdrawn at the interval; meanwhile, the latter enjoyed an impressive 28-minute cameo from the bench, completing three successful dribbles and winning five duels.

Nevertheless, Hajime Moriyasu opted to field Maeda in an unfamiliar position yesterday, which may provide food for thought amid his comPetent display.

Celtic man Daizen Maeda’s unfamiliar position for Japan

Intriguingly, Maeda came on as a substitute and took up an unfamiliar berth at right-wing back, and it is fair to say he thrived in his surroundings.

Of course, part of what makes the former Yokohama F. Marinos man so unique is his ability to combine attack and defence, providing an energy that helps to stifle the opposition at all costs.

Celtic player Daizen Maeda in action during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox Stadium on April 07, 202...
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

From his own perspective, Maeda has now indicated how he feels about playing further back while still being given a license to roam forward, something that he has done before in the early part of his career.

He stated [cited via BVTxHFqPetjQNqdGX4 Scotland]: “I’m an attacking player, so I can play forward, but totally fine with defense. Wing back is my first position in my career, but I’m having fun now.”

Daizen Maeda is critical for Celtic under Brendan Rodgers

As far as it goes, Maeda is one of the first names on the teamsheet under Rodgers, given his selfless nature and ability to drive the team forward.

Overall, he registered ten goals and four assists in 36 appearances across 2023/24, playing a pivotal role in helping the Bhoys claim a domestic double [Transfermarkt].

Hopefully, he can get more minutes in his legs as Japan take on Syria next Tuesday before taking a rest ahead of Celtic’s return to pre-season in under a month.

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