Daizen Maeda wants to “share the joy and happiness” with Celtic fans again as he looks to build on last season’s success.
The tireless Japan forward signed a new four-year deal earlier this month – testament to the success he has enjoyed in Glasgow since arriving from Japanese side Yokohama F.Marinos at the start of 2022.
Maeda has scored 19 goals in 71 appearances – including a goal on his debut against Hibernian at Celtic Park – and has won four trophies, including last season’s historic domestic treble.
Added to that, the 25-year-old’s family have adapted well to life in Scotland and, speaking to Celtic TV, he said: “It is amazing to be able to play for Celtic for many more years.
“I would like to share the joy and happiness with the supporters and have more success again.
“I can’t live in a place where my family doesn’t settle well.
“Fans and supporters in the city and at the nursery for my kids have helped us a lot, so now we feel that the city is very comfortable to live.”
Maeda has been capped 12 times for Japan, scoring three goals, including one against Croatia in the last-16 of the World Cup.
He also played a key role for the Samurai Blue in famous wins over Spain and Germany in Qatar at the end of last year.
His most recent international goal came last month in a 4-1 Kirin Cup win over Peru.
The attacker is looking forward to returning home again next week with Celtic as the Scottish champions take on Gamba Osaka and Maeda’s former club, Yokohama F.Marinos, in pre-season friendlies, which will give the Hoops players more chances to impress new boss Brendan Rodgers.
“He is a fantastic manager,” Maeda said. “As a team, we are aiming to achieve success again with the new gaffer this season.
“Individually, I want to perform better than last season.
“I went back to Japan recently for national-team duty, but it will be the first time to go back and play some games as a Celtic player, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Marinos are a strong team. The team was strong when I was there too, and they have been winning the league recently but, yes, I want to beat them.
“They are pre-season games. We have to try to win but also we will be playing to prepare for next season.”
Meanwhile, Celtic have announced a friendly against Wolves in Dublin. Rodgers’ side, after their trip to Japan, will face the Premier League side at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, July 29, with a 2pm kick-off.