Celtic has clearly spotted some quality in the J-League, which is one of the advantages of having a man like Ange in charge. But to keep on following the strategy of signing players from there would be both counter-productive and even dangerous.
For openers, you have to ask if we’ve already gotten the best talents that the league has to offer.
The manager knows what he wants, and he’s been swift to get these guys on board. They were clearly stars. The question is, does the signing path now only go one way for the moment, as we wait for the next crop of stars to emerge there?
Another question which arises is this; is it dangerous if we sign too many players from a Far Eastern country, knowing that they might all be unavailable for selection at the same time at some stage? We got off for the game at Celtic Park because Hatate hadn’t been selected for the national team; the next time round he will be and so will Kyogo and Maeda.
The more of these players we have the harder we’ll hit every time they have to go and play for their country.
The better they play, the more likely that is.
It also means that we’re missing out on tremendous talents elsewhere and I include Scotland in that of course, because we’ve always done well getting players from here.
Ange won’t shop in just one market, of course, and he hasn’t.
Our signings under him have come from all over Europe; what’s important to this guy is whether a football can fit into his system, not where the guy is from … it’s the media and a lot of our fans who think that Ange will return to the J League time and time again, and he might … but in moderation.
The truth is, this guy is a supreme spotter of talent and if there is someone over there who he thinks will do the business for us then he will make his move.
The marketing potential alone is awesome, not just in the Far East but in North America too and I imagine that’s a market he and the club will be keeping a very close eye on too.