We want players who come to Celtic from Japan to raise their profile with the national team. So far, this has not happened. If anything, the sole inclusion of Daizen Maeda in the Japan squad for this month’s internationals is a statement of the opposite.
Champions League football is the currency that will change this. Credible performances on that stage will deliver whatever credibility is required. Until then, you and I can console ourselves with the thought that fewer of the players we hope will deliver league and cup will need to travel the world this month.
Callum McGregor’s inclusion as the only Celtic player in the Scotland squad is another reason to be cheered. Greg Taylor is in the form of his life, but Scotland is not short of left backs and I would rather he remained at Lennoxtown than spend a fruitless week with the national team. David Turnbull is not playing enough football to be considered either.
With Callum’s diary filling up, the visit of Hibs on Saturday is an interesting opportunity to rest the captain and give a start to Tomoki Iwata. Tomoki will be 28 when the next World Cup takes place, a tournament he should be aiming for. Celtic will either help him or hinder him getting there. A start on Saturday would be a step in the right direction.