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Celtic could unearth Daizen Maeda heir in Ben Quinn

For all the excitement surrounding the possible new additions at Celtic this month, manager Ange Postecoglou will no doubt be fearing that a handful of his key figures could well be poached by interested parties.

Although such interest may be something of a compliment with regards to the Old Firm outfit’s rampant form this term – having won 19 of their 21 Scottish Premiership outings thus far – that will hardly soften the blow if any assets are to unexpectedly depart in the coming weeks.

One man who has seemingly caught the eye of late is Japan international, Daizen Maeda, with Sky Sports reporting that Premier League strugglers Southampton are ‘monitoring’ the in-form speedster as they look to bolster their chances of survival.

The Saints do, of course, have previous for raiding the Parkhead giants for talent, having prised the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and Stuart Armstrong from Glasgow in the recent past.

To lose Maeda would no doubt be a blow for the Scottish champions, with the £18k-per-week speedster having been on a real hot streak of late, having provided three goal contributions in his last three league games – taking his total tally this season to 11 goals and assists in 27 games in all competitions.

The diminutive “machine” – as lauded by ex-Bhoys striker Chris Sutton – also boasts an impressive overall tally for the club of 24 goal involvements in just 49 games since joining from Yokohama F. Marinos a year ago, hence the concern of losing such a dynamic talent.

Should that reported interest from south of the border ultimately lead to a swift exit from Celtic Park for the 12-cap gem, Postecoglou will likely be left to scour the market to find a suitable replacement.

Should Maeda be sold this month?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The title-winning coach could, however, be better served looking towards the academy ranks in order to find an heir to Maeda in his side, with promising teenager Ben Quinn once such talent who could well be deserving of a chance at first team level.

The 18-year-old winger could potentially help to fill Maeda’s goalscoring void, having proven himself a lethal presence as a result of his standout displays for the clubs ‘B’ team so far this season.

The young Irishman – who joined the club back in 2019 – has scored seven goals and laid on four assists in just 19 appearances in the Lowland League so far this term, having also scored once in his two Challenge Cup outings.

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That stunning haul is all the more impressive considering that the youngster is not an out-and-out centre-forward, as he mirrors Maeda in being able to wreak havoc from either flank.

Although the exciting sensation is yet to feature in the senior ranks, the indication is that Celtic certainly have a real player on their hands, having had to fend off interest from the likes of Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers to secure his signature just over three years ago.

As such, Postecoglou could well save himself millions if he does promote Quinn in the near future, with the Republic of Ireland youth international potentially able to be Maeda’s successor should the latter man seek to move on.