A trio of J.League players are leaving their clubs for Scotland, as Yokohama F·Marinos’ Daizen Maeda, Kawasaki Frontale’s Reo Hatate and Gamba Osaka’s Yosuke Ideguchi will all head to Celtic F.C. in the January transfer window, subject to international clearance.
After securing former Yokohama F·Marinos manager Ange Postecoglou and former Vissel Kobe forward Kyogo Furuhashi in the summer, Celtic have announced the addition of three more J.League stars to their ranks as the new year arrives.
Postecoglou will be especially familiar with Maeda, having managed him until leaving for Celtic. Maeda was the joint Meiji Yasuda J1 League Top Scorer in 2021, bagging 23 goals and helped lead Marinos to a second place finish. His excellent play last year also earned the 24-year-old his first Japan national team caps, as he established himself as a Samurai Blue regular.
While Maeda will join on loan until the summer when a compulsory purchase clause kicks in, Ideguchi and Hatate have signed long-term contracts.
Hatate is making the first move of his career, having debuted with Frontale. The versatile young star has excelled in a number of positions for Kawasaki and leaves the J.League as a two-time champion.
By contrast, this will mark the second time Ideguchi has left Gamba for Europe. He signed for Leeds United in 2018 and spent time on loan in Spain and Germany before rejoining the Osaka side the next year.
All three players have been named J.League Best Eleven selections in the past, with Maeda and Hatate selected this most recent season, while Ideguchi was a member of the 2017 cohort.
Postecoglou told Celtic FC’s website: “We are really pleased to bring in these guys to Celtic and I think they are players who will excite our fans.”