Tomoki Iwata is a talented player who joined Celtic midway through last season and quickly settled in. He impressed on a few occasions and is now looking forward to his first full season with the team in 2023/24.

Tomoki Iwata
30th April 2023; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland: Scottish Cup Football Semi Final, Rangers versus Celtic; Scott Arfield of Rangers tackles Tomoki Iwata of Celtic

While Iwata doesn’t have control over where he plays on the field, he has expressed a desire to contribute as a defensive midfielder. In a recent interview, he discussed how playing as a centre-back also allows him to utilise his strength of sending good passes and creating a rhythm of attack from the back line. (Japanese media via The Celtic Star):

“My ultimate goal is to contribute to our team as a defensive midfielder. However, at Celtic, there are many cases that we hold the ball.

“When I play as a centre back, I also can send good passes, which is my own strength, from the back line and create rhythm of attack.”

Although he was not called up to the most recent Japanese squad, Iwata remains positive and focused on winning the battle for being a starter at Celtic. With Brendan Rodgers as the coach, it will be interesting to see where Iwata is deployed on the field and how he performs throughout the season.

“I have been given positive stimulation from the three bhoys called up to Japanese National Team, and now I don’t get frustrated with my situation that I haven’t been called up. The first thing I should do is to win the battle for being starter at Celtic.”

It will be interesting to see where Brendan Rodgers has Tomoki in the pecking order and if he can help the player up his game this coming season.


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