Only one Celtic player has been selected for Japan’s squad for the upcoming international fixtures [@jfa_samuraiblue].

Daizen Maeda is once again the only pick from the Hoops as Japan will take on Uruguay and Colombia in international friendlies.

It’s an indication that the injury which he picked up against Hearts last week wasn’t too serious and that he may be available for the weekend match against Hibs at Celtic Park [Read more here]. 

As Maeda is the only selection, it means that Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate, Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi all miss out.

Iwata and Kobayashi only arrived at the Scottish champions in January and although they are both rated highly, they haven’t had too much game time meaning their absence can be understood.

However, both Kyogo and Hatate spoke about their disappoint at not being selected for the World Cup and using it to fuel their game for Celtic.

Many have described the Japan boss as being stubborn and he was challenged at his press conference as to why both Hoops stars were missing out.

“I’ve watched all of Celtic’s games and seen what they’ve accomplished and their presence in the team. But there’s no bar to clear to be called up; it’s a comprehensive decision,” said Moriyasu as quoted by journalist Dan Orlowitz [@aishiterutokyo]. 

“We think about the level of the league and various other factors when making the decision. For this squad we focused on the squad from Qatar as well as some new players. There will be other call-ups. As I said, we’re trying to build strongest team possible ahead of 2026.

“In order to do that we’re taking a wide view of how to build the team as I think we all agree, (Reo & Kyogo) would absolutely be able to contribute to the team, but this time I wanted to try out some different players and that’s why they weren’t selected.”

Celtic striker Kyogo
Reuters/Lee Smith

Many would question what both players actually have to do as Kyogo is currently the top goalscorer in Scottish football having scored 26 goals and Hatate is well in the running for Celtic’s Player of the Year.

It looks from the outset to be a bit of a pop at the league but yet he still selects Maeda. It would be one thing leaving both out in March and then selecting them in November when competitive international football begins as Japan shall compete at the 2024 Asian Cup in Qatar.



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