There is a temptation to believe that the club’s four Japanese players – the trio of January arrivals from the J-League comprising Ideguchi, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate joining Kyogo Furuhashi in Ange Postecglou’s squad – will be joined at the hip when away from their jobs. However, there is only one place the £800,000 signing from Gamba Osaka expects to be in his downtime. And it is with his partner and the three children under six that the 25-year-old has with him in his new home. “When I don’t play football, I spend a lot of time to be with my family. My children are five years, three and two and I enjoy it,” he said.
And it is this unit that the player believes can help make his time in the UK different from the unproductive spell ensued after he signed for Leeds United in January 2018, which immediately gave way to loan stints in Spain and Germany.
“It is different now in terms of private life, and the football aspect,” he said, through an interpreter, though he initially offered up himself clearly “I am still struggling with my English”. “This is my second opportunity to be in a foreign country, so this is why I know very well how things work here. I would like to take advantage of having the first experience to do better in everything and have success. Unfortunately, last season in Japan my club didn’t have a good time, but since coming back to UK I feel I am recovering good feelings, so I am good. I think not only being a football player but as a person to have a good mentality is very important.”
And the attributes that the industrious midfielder believes he possesses can be important to playing the “way that can make the fans happy” with him. “I describe myself as a hard-working player. I’m good at stealing the ball and making forward runs. So I would like to show all my advantages in front of all Celtic fans every week.”