Daizen Maeda ready to take Celtic spotlight as striker reveals 'centre of attention' costume decision

Daizen Maeda does things his way, and it works. Now, the recent Celtic signing is ready to bring his eye-catching attributes to Ange Postecoglou’s side and achieve the one thing that he is missing – a league title.

The spotlight will fall on Maeda, and fellow new signings Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, on Monday when the SPFL Premiership resumes with an expected capacity crowd at Parkhead for the visit of Hibs.

The focus and attention does not faze the 24-year-old, he’s used to it in his homeland, and he revels in it.

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Scoring 23 J-League goals last season caught the eye, but collecting his golden boot award dressed in a traditional hakama, Maeda stood out from the crowd in their regular black-tie tuxedos.

Daizen Maeda has reunited with former boss Ange Postecoglou at Celtic. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“I don’t want to be the same as others. I want to be unique. I want to be centre of attention,” Maeda said. “This is why I chose that costume on that occasion. It felt right.

“I really want to score a lot of goals at Celtic and to be a real star here too.”

Despite his individuality ambitions, comparisons will inevitably be made with his new team-mate Kyogo Furuhashi, who shares his playing background, nationality and position. They might need to share the limelight too, as well as the pitch.

"If we are asked to play together then we would be very strong. It is an option, but let’s see how it works. I have been playing centre-forward for a long time, sometimes as a left-winger. I’m happy in either. It is a decision for the manager and coaches. I will do my job wherever they want me.”

The forward has been reunited with his former Marinos coach Ange Postecoglou. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Postecoglou knows what Maeda brings. He took him to Yokohama F. Marinos in 2020 before sealing this reunion in Glasgow.

“The style of football was aggressive and intense,” Maeda added. “Coming to Celtic, I’ve already seen videos of how we are going to play.

“Training sessions are similar to the ones at Marinos and how we play will be close to that too. This is all good for me. The manager got the best out of me in the past. I hope he will again.

“The first thing I bring to the team is speed. When I am behind the opposition defence, I try to be the first defender for my team.

New Celtic signing Daizen Maeda is unveiled at Lennoxtown, on January 1, 2022. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“I want to create and score goals. These are things I’m looking forward to showing the Celtic fans. I will give them and the team everything.”

He has the chance on Monday evening after the accelerated winter break finishes and spectator restrictions are lifted for the cinch Premiership restart.

“It could be my first game as a Celtic player and of course it will be great if there are so many fans inside the stadium to watch it. All I want to do is score goals and share happiness with all the fans.”

One guaranteed way to ensure that happiness, and one thing missing for Maeda, is a league title.

Daizen Maeda celebrates scoring for Yokohama F.Marinos en route to his J-League golden boot last year. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Despite his goals, his award and his robes, Yokohama fell short last season, finishing runners-up to J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale: "It’s the only thing I haven’t achieved in my career so far. This is something I want.

"I believe it’s something I can achieve here. It’s a club that wins things. Of course I want the title."

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Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou,
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