Celtic announce signing of trio of Japanese players

Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi have all joined the Glasgow club.

Celtic announce signing of trio of Japanese players Simon Holmes via Getty Images
Daizen Maeda has joined from Ange Postecoglou's former club.

Celtic have completed the signing of three players from Japan’s J-League, with the trio following Kyogo Furuhashi in making the move to Glasgow.

Forward Daizen Maeda has joined from Ange Postecoglou’s former club Yokohama F Marinos, midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi signs from Gamba Osaka and utility man Reo Hatate makes the move from Kawasaki Frontale.

All three players will be available in early January after completing international clearance. Ideguchi and Hatate have both signed four-and-a-half year deals with Celtic, while Maeda moves on loan initially but with Celtic having signed a compulsory purchase clause, meaning he’ll become a permanent member of the squad in the summer.

The signings are the latest additions to Postecoglou’s squad as he looks to strengthen the side for the second half of the season.

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The Australian drew on his experience managing in the J-League to sign Kyogo Furuhashi in the summer and saw the forward make an instant impression, with 16 goals so far.

Postecoglou has now returned to Japan for more new recruits, signing players he believes will impress the support.

“We are really pleased to bring in these guys to Celtic and I think they are players who will excite our fans,” he told Celtic’s website.

“Clearly I am well aware of their attributes and I think in bringing all three to the club we are bringing even more quality, personality and energy to the squad to work with the players who have done so well for us already this season.

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“They are all really at the peak of their careers, ambitious to achieve more success and I am sure at this particular time we will be getting their best years. I am delighted to have secured these players so early in the transfer window, I look forward to working with them and myself, my backroom team and the rest of the squad will be making sure we help them settle into Celtic as quickly as possible.”

Maeda, 24, finished the year as joint top scorer in the J-League and he has been capped twice by his country. Ideguchi, 25, who had an unsuccessful spell at Leeds United earlier in his career has played for Japan 15 times, while 24-year-old Hatate was named in the league’s team of the year and was part of Japan’s Olympic team.