Celtic legend Rudi Vata has praised Ange Postecoglou for defying the trend of Japanese stars making huge moves to European clubs.
Many in Glasgow were startled when the Hoops boss chose the J-League as part of his Parkhead redevelopment last year, bringing in top performers Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda to complement the success of free-scoring Kyogo Furuhashi in January.
Kyogo was the first player from Postecoglou’s former league to join and made an immediate impact in the Scottish Premiership, finishing the season with 33 goals in all competitions.
Postecoglou then brought in Hatate and Maeda, two former J-League stars who had an immediate impact in league action at Parkhead.
The midfielder and forward are now fixtures on the Celtic bench, while the purchase of Yosuke Ideguchi has been a flop thus far, with the 26-year-old suffering from injury setbacks and scarcely stepping foot on the Parkhead turf.
However, Vata, who played for Celtic for three years in the 1990s, now works as an agent and football counsellor, and agrees that Postecoglou is making ripples in the recruitment department, particularly in the Far East.
He told Tribalfootball.com: “I think there is a lot of potential at J-League and I think there is a lot of talent in Japan and of course there are a lot of Japanese players that play in Europe for a number of years now. The reasons behind that is they have talent, discipline and they dedicate themselves to the work, they are very hardworking nation and that’s why they have success in Europe and are impressing with their performances.”
Such high praise for Japanese football will only do good for the sport in the country. Such high words should do nothing but motivate Japan soccer to excel further!
The Albian’s son, Rocco, is currently key to Celtic’s academy and has featured in a handful of matchday squads under the Australian boss.