It was interesting to see Yosuke Ideguchi make a rare appearance for the Hoops in the last game of the season against Motherwell.
The midfielder has rarely featured for the Hoops after suffering a bad injury in his only start for the Bhoys, in the Scottish Cup against Alloa.
Overall the midfielder has played six games for the Bhoys, as so far he has not had the impact of Celtic’s other Japanese signings, Kyogo, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda, but that can be put down to injury.
The 25-year-old will begin a with a clean slate in the summer, and perhaps as a midfielder, he could replace Nir Bitton in the Celtic squad.
Bitton is leaving Celtic in the summer, and there will be a place in the club needed for another midfielder, and that player could be Ideguchi. For Ideguchi to get his Celtic career up and running, it is important that he impresses in pre-season training and in Celtic’s friendly fixtures.
He might well have featured more often if he hadn’t suffered the injury, and it has to be said that Celtic’s midfield is one of the strongest parts of the side. However, with Bitton leaving, there is now a space that has opened up in the squad, and Ideguchi could well be the player to take that role.
Only time will tell if Celtic buy a midfielder in the summer, the Hoops may have to with the exits of Bitton and Tom Rogic. But Ideguchi should be given a chance to show that he belongs in the Celtic first-team.
Ange Postecoglou obviously likes the player, otherwise he wouldn’t have brought him in to the club in the January transfer window along with Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda.
On occasion it takes players time to settle into moving to another country, and where the likes of Hatate, Kyogo and Maeda got lucky is that they didn’t get injured as soon as they arrived in Scotland.
Sadly Ideguchi did, and that stopped his Celtic career from really getting started. However, he will have a chance to really get going in his first full season at Celtic Park. Hopefully he can get a run of games at the start of the season, and that will allow the Hoops support to see the best of the player.
It is promises to be a big season next year at Celtic Park, with the Hoops returning to the Champions League and looking to retain the Premiership title. Hopefully Ideguchi can play a part for the Hoops, perhaps as Nir Bitton’s replacement.