Chris Sutton is all praises for Daizen Maeda following his outstanding performance for Celtic over the weekend.

Daizen Maeda
23rd September 2023; Almondvale Stadium, Livingston, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, Livingston versus Celtic; Matt ORiley of Celtic celebrates with Daizen Maeda of Celtic and Gustaf Lagerbielke of Celtic after he scores to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute

The international player from Japan was a standout as Celtic secured another victory against Livingston, earning three more points in the Premiership.

Brendan Rodgers was particularly impressed by Maeda’s contribution at the Tony Macaroni, emphasising his exceptional work rate, equivalent to two players, especially valuable as Celtic played most of the match with ten men.

Sutton, joining the chorus of praise for Maeda, highlighted his significant impact in derby matches and speculated a possible shift in his playing position in the future.

Speaking to the Daily Record, he said:

“In games like Saturday’s, he’s worth his weight in gold. Rodgers could keep two men up front because he knew Maeda would cover the yards.

“I know Rodgers sees him as a central striker and the only question was about his finishing if he plays there. It doesn’t hold him back when he plays for Japan.

“He played there in pre-season and he really looked the part. But I understand why he’s been used more out wide again because Celtic have injuries in those areas and new signings who are still getting up to speed. We might see him moving inside more once Liel Abada is back and Luis Palma and Marco Tillio are fully integrated into the squad. But I’m convinced Maeda will only get better.

“He’s only 25 and is developing all the time. It doesn’t really matter where he is on the pitch as you know he’s going to work the legs off defenders and really help his team.”

Maeda came to Celtic as a striker but was moved out wide by Ange Postecoglou. However, he still leads the line for his country and scored in the World Cup while starting up front.

Brendan Rodgers has admitted in the past that there is a reason he leads the line for Japan, and was impressed with his contribution from the striking position in pre-season, when he netted a hat trick.

A change of position is certainly not off the cards.


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