JAPANESE ace Kaoru Mitoma’s value has soared to £40million as he takes the English top flight by storm with a string of sensational performances.

The 25-year-old forward was snapped up by former Brighton boss Graham Potter at the same time Ange Postecoglou was introducing the player’s international team-mate Kyogo Furuhashi to Celtic following his £4.6million move from Vissel Kobe in July 2021.

Mitoma, then playing alongside Reo Hatate at Kawasaki Frontale, was also on the new Hoops manager’s radar, but he opted for the challenge of the Premier League although he admitted he “did give some time to think about Celtic” before joining the south coast club.

NO…Kaoru Mitoma knocked back Ange Postecoglou for English top flight.

YES…Kyogo Furuhashi was one of Ange Postecoglou’s first recruits for the Parkhead club.

Postecoglou admitted he was interested in the pacy raider before the player chose the English club, as CQN reported earlier this month.

Mitoma, speaking to Optus Sport, said: “I was flattered, but also I knew that the Premier League has the highest level of football in the world. This was why I accepted Brighton’s offer straight away.

“I did give some time to think about Celtic, too. However, my desire to play in the strongest league in the world was very high, as well as my desire to play with and against the best players in the world.”

Mitoma spent last season on loan at Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise before getting the call to join Brighton where he has been a star performer this term with seven goals from 24 appearances.

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