Celtic’s transfer strategy underwent a significant shift after the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as the manager in the summer of 2021. They expanded their scouting network and began to explore new territories, which proved to be a success. Their ability to bounce back quickly from the 20/21 campaign and reclaim the top spot in Scottish football was largely due to their smart signings.
One of the most successful areas of recruitment for Celtic has been the J-League, where they have found key players such as Reo Hatate, Kyogo, and Daizen Maeda. However, the signing of Yosuke Ideguchi did not turn out as expected. The future of Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata also remains uncertain.
Recently, Aston Villa announced a strategic partnership with Vissel Kobe, the club where Kyogo played before joining Celtic. With Ange Postecoglou’s success and the recent achievements of the Japan national team, it seems like more clubs are turning their attention to the J-League.
Celtic must follow after Aston Villa’s announcement
Celtic could benefit from forming a partnership with another J-League club to replicate the success they achieved with FC Tokyo. With the increasing interest in the Japanese top flight, transfer fees are likely to rise even further. While Celtic’s attempts to sign players from the K-League have not been successful, a strategic partnership with a J-League club would enable them to identify talent at an earlier stage. Given the changing landscape of the game, this seems to be the way forward, and Celtic should aim to stay one step ahead of their competitors.