Daizen Maeda, our new striker, is the only Japanese Bhoy called up for their national team for the coming international fixtures.
This leaves Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi free to play in the coming games for our club, and sets up Kyogo Furuhashi for a race to be fit for 2 February.
It is better news than we had expected, and although missing Maeda will be seen as a blow it is not the truly awful one that losing all three fit players would have been.
Fans will be particularly pleased that Hatate has not made the squad, because he provides something in the midfield which we will benefit from in those big games and gives us the option of playing Jota through the middle if our other option – the Greek Giakoumakis – doesn’t come off.
Celtic’s international call-ups for this window are now complete; with only two members of the squad called up, our club has been vindicated in its “wait and see” stance.
We neither ruled out an option we might have wanted to explore, nor jumped too early and made a public pronouncement on calling the 2 February game off … which would have given the media days of headlines, all of them negative as we know only too well.
The shape of the squad for the next few weeks has now been settled, and our club and the manager can begin putting their plans for the fixtures into place.
A crucial question will be about who plays in the game later on today. The manager has hinted at a major squad rotation, but I would be surprised if at least a couple of the Japanese weren’t in the team.
Whatever we decide, we know now what we have to work with.
There will be sighs of relief at Celtic Park that the squad isn’t as badly weakened as we suspected that it might be … and now some of the focus will turn to whether or not Kyogo can win his fitness battle, and whether or not the manager would be willing to risk him if there was a chance.
Interesting times folks. Interesting times.