Ex-Celtic player Charlie Nicholas believes Kyogo Furuhashi, Jota, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate still have plenty to prove when it comes to performing on the European stage.
While he feels all four players have impressed for the Hoops domestically, he has been less convinced by their form in the Champions League:
“As well as Jota, the jury is out on Japanese trio Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda. There is no question these guys are top players for Celtic in domestic competitions but question marks will remain until they are doing the business on a regular basis in the Champions League.”
“There have been fleeting moments here in this season’s games against Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk but they need to bring more and truly deliver in this competition. I certainly believe they all have the ability and potential – but it is about them showing it.”
Between them, they have scored just one goal and laid on two assists in their five group matches so far. From a statistical standpoint, Nicholas’s argument does have some merit.
While you could argue that Maeda has struggled a lot more than the other three, they have all lacked an end product. It’s a big step up to make so it’s not fair to be too harsh on them, considering their lack of experience at the top level but, as Nicholas says, if Celtic want to do better in Europe, these four players will need to contribute a lot more.