So Southampton want Daizen Maeda. Well, wasn’t that coming? From the moment he put the ball in the net against the Ibrox club on Monday I wondered from which direction the speculation would come. England. Obviously. And a club we’ve sold to before.
It was kind of obvious, wasn’t it? I feel like a fool for not having guessed it.
These stories come out of nowhere anytime a Celtic player makes headlines, but this one has the stench of laziness and desperation about it. Maeda was being written off by some in the media not that long ago, and suddenly now he’s got EPL attention.
The thing is, I’m fairly sure that clubs are interested in Maeda, but I don’t think the media has the slightest clue who those clubs are and I very much doubt that the interest is new. I think the World Cup performances might have had a lot to do with this, but of course Maeda’s sudden explosion into the public consciousness here worries some folk.
That’s why these stories have emerged now. Forget the World Cup, this was all about that early goal he scored earlier in the week, when he seized onto Mad Dog’s mistake. He’d been threatening it since coming back from Qatar and I thought he was a good bet to score in that match. I should have trusted my gut and actually stuck money on it.
From the moment he did it was an equally good bet that a story like this was going to pop up and try to unsettle him. It’s as regular as clockwork, so much so that we take it in our stride and I’m sure that people at Parkhead have been waiting on it too.
But nothing the media has written in the last 18 months has made the slightest difference to the positive direction of this club. We endure in spite of all the nonsense and all the speculation. Celtic Park is a good place for footballers right now, and I am sure that Maeda, who must feel as at home as he ever has, has no interest in any of this.
And that’s how much attention we should pay it.