Celtic forward Daizen Maeda has notably come under fire for his struggles in front of goal in recent times, with the Japanese international having been particularly profligate during the Old Firm outfit’s disappointing Champions League run.
The 25-year-old had enjoyed a prolific spell following his arrival at Parkhead in January, scoring eight goals and providing five assists in just 22 games at the tail end of last term, although has since scored just three times in 18 games in all competitions so far this season.
While few can criticise the nine-cap gem’s tireless work ethic – having been dubbed a “machine” by ex-Bhoys striker Chris Sutton last term – the £3.15m-rated man has showcased a lack of cutting edge of late, particularly in Europe.
The Glasgow side’s group stage run thus far has seen the dynamic speedster miss three big chances, as per SofaScore, notably squandering a guilt-edged opening on matchday one at home to holders Real Madrid – fluffing his attempt at goal just after the break.
With manager Ange Postecoglou admitting that his side had paid the “ultimate price” for their wasteful nature after seeing their hopes of progression ended, there may well be frustration that the likes of Maeda, and others, have failed to provide the goods when it mattered.
In need of a potentially more ruthless presence in the forward line, the 57-year-old could well be better served turning to academy asset, Adam Brooks, with the versatile teenager having showcased his quality for the club’s B team of late.
The highly-rated 18-year-old – who can feature in an attacking midfield role or through the middle – has been in clinical form so far this term, with five goals in just eight games in all competitions, including four goals in just five games in the Lowlands League.
The Scotland youth international has notably been lauded by coach Darren O’Dea in recent times, with the former Celtic defender saying of the emerging talent last season:
“Adam is one at the minute that’s in really good form, he’s scoring goals, he’s created a lot of goals, he’s trained particularly well. But he’s also developing the other side to his game.”
While Postecoglou has thus far been somewhat unwilling to promote from the academy set-up – with Stephen Welsh the only graduate to have forced his way into the first team of late – the former Yokohama boss could well strike gold by bringing young Brooks into the fold sooner rather than later.