Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou believes there are more countries in Asia where he can replicate the success he has had with bringing in players like Kyogo Furuhashi.
The Australian says that, while there are a number of hidden gems in Japan, it is a similar case for the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have stars that are equally capable of playing in European football:
“Kyogo Furuhashi, for me, can play at the highest level. I had no doubt, but because he was coming from Japan, there’s always again, it’s because it’s the other side of the world. It’s like I said, it’s an untapped market, it’s a lot easier to sign a South American player or a European player. I know the young players there, they want to be as successful as they possibly can. And, you know, the German league has had so many fantastic Japanese players playing there, but I go beyond Japan, I think Asian players in general, there’s players from Iran and Saudi [Arabia] that you think they could play in Europe very easily, top talents.”
Postecoglou’s comments do explain why the likes of ES Setif’s Ahmed Kendouci and Shabab Dubai’s Mehdi Ghayedi were mentioned as potential targets during the January transfer window.
After working for most of his career in Australia and Asia, it is a part of the world that the 56-year-old knows very well so it is wise to tap into his wealth of knowledge.
If new additions can be anywhere near as successful as Kyogo has been, it would be worthwhile snapping up players from some of these lesser-known markets.