It’s always good, when you make new signings, to see that those people who’ve watched them already think you’ve done the right thing. When you sign players from as far afield as Japan that kind of commentary can wash away all of your worries in an instant.
The American journalist, Daniel Orlowitz, who appeared on Sky yesterday and who has spent the last few years of his career covering the J League, did a lot more than suggest that Celtic have signed good players. He suggested that we’ve robbed the clubs and the league itself of some of its brightest talents, and for a relative pittance.
His interview was excellent. You can watch it here.
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) December 31, 2021
On Twitter, he was even more emphatic. He had suggested in November or early December that some of the transfer fees that were being talked about were surprising; he thought that at least two of our three targets were worth a lot more.
“As far as Maeda and Hatate are concerned this is the most audacious heist in the UK since Leave realized what Brexit was actually going to cost,” he tweeted yesterday, and in the Sky interview he was quite open about saying that we’ve stolen them.
I found his comments about Hatate particularly interesting; although not the sexiest of the three signings – the euphemism “utility player” has always had very negative connotations here in Scotland where it’s been used to describe some absolutely awful players – Orlowitz actually suggested that when it comes time to move these guys on that the return on him might be greater than the other two. He clearly thinks that this guy is the real thing.
His comments about Maeda are interesting too; he thinks the player would be comfortable playing off the central role, or behind Kyogo.
People had wondered how a side which lines up with only one central striker might function with two Japanese forwards; he has given us a hint as to how.
He also suggests that Kyogo might move out to the left; this would not be what most fans want to hear, but he thinks because they will be able to communicate properly that the two of them could, and would, easily make it work. I agree.
Another revelation was about how well Celtic will be received in Japan as a result of these signings. We’ve already got 30,000 followers on our Japanese Twitter account, and that was due to having one player in the national team. Imagine our window for success if all four of these guys are producing for us, and for the country, on a regular basis?
Those who sneered at us for believing that we now had an inroad into the Asian sports market will have to think ago; it’s clear that these signings mean that we do.
All in all, it’s pretty exciting at the moment when you look at these three players and their pedigree. There are possibilities here both footballing and commercial; it is good business whatever way you look at it. In fact, this guy thinks we’ve pulled off a heist.