It is not like Celtic to have no one to parade on deadline day, just as it is not like Celtic to have us glowing with contentment at the business they did early in the window. Reo Hatate (24), Daizen Maeda (24) and Yosuke Ideguchi (25) arrived from Japan, where today Daizen made a 68th minute appearance from the substitutes bench in a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
Matt O’Riley (21) arrived from MK Dons, in the third tier of English football. Matt has played one year of first team football, clearly a productive one. His early Celtic performances reinforce the encouraging signs we heard from EFL watchers. Johnny Kenny (18) arrived from Sligo Rovers as a development prospect.
Maeda scored within minutes of his debut, then watched Hatate steal the show and deservedly grab the Man of the Match award. Ideguchi came on as a late sub against Hibs before being brutally injured at Alloa. The early form of all three is encouraging, especially as they cope with living on a new continent, among new coaches and teammates.
We retained all first-choice players, with some on the fringes going out on loan. The major disappointment was that none of our well-paid bench sitters left. Has this been our most successful transfer window ever? Stay tuned to find out.
All the noise in town yesterday came from across the city, where Newco acquired a midfielder who has made seven 90-minute league appearances since August 2017 (only one since going to Italy in 2019). A friend suggested this was a classic Hail Mary move, although I’m sure that is not how they look at it at Ibrox. Not all intercessions happen.
Later this month we face Raith Rovers in a Scottish Cup tie. As things stand, they will field David Goodwillie, whom they signed last night. Goodwillie was found to have raped a woman at a civil trial in 2017. Fair play to Rovers fans for their overwhelming opposition to the signing. They have a fight on their hands for the character of their club.
The Japan – Saudi Arabia game is due to finish around 12:10 UK time. Hopefully by the time you finish reading this Daizen is in a taxi on his way to the airport. There will be a good hour in his legs tomorrow night.