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29/12/2022 | 08:10pm

The January switch window might not but have formally opened, though Scottish champions Celtic are already seemingly closing in on their third winter addition, with the Parkhead giants having snapped up Alistair Johnston and Yuki Kobayashi in current weeks.

The most recent indication is that Japanese worldwide Tomoki Iwata is the subsequent in line to affix the Previous Agency outfit within the New 12 months, with experiences in his homeland – through Soccer Scotland – suggesting that the 25-year-old is near sealing a mortgage swap to Glasgow.

The idea is that that momentary deal will embody a everlasting clause of round £800k, with supervisor Ange Postecoglou eager for a reunion with the versatile ace – who can function within the backline or in midfield – after beforehand signing the four-cap gem for Yokohama F. Marinos again in 2021.

The skilled coach had been filled with reward for the 5 foot 10 gem on the time of his seize, notably describing the adaptable ace as “glorious in lots of positions”, in addition to lauding his “power and aggression”.

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The “spectacular” machine – as described by journalist Sacha Pisani – will possible be hoping to observe within the footsteps of a lot of his compatriots if he’s to make the transfer to Paradise within the close to future, with the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda having additionally shone for the Hoops of late.

Iwata’s arrival would seemingly mirror the signing of that man Maeda, with the dynamic marksman having additionally been snapped up on an preliminary mortgage deal from Yokohama in January earlier this 12 months, earlier than signing completely over the summer time.

The acquisition of the 25-year-old has confirmed one thing of a masterstroke so far as Postecoglou is anxious, with the explosive asset having gone on to attain 13 objectives and register 9 assists in 47 video games in all competitions for the Bhoys.

Lauded as a “livewire” and a “nuisance” by pundit BBC Sport Rio Ferdinand following his shows on the World Cup in Qatar, the relentless gem had wanted little time to adapt to Scottish soccer, having scored on debut in opposition to Hibernian again in January.

Whereas the £18k-per-week man might have his flaws – having been described as a “headless hen” by journalist Casey Evans – the ahead has impressed as a result of his outstanding work ethic down the flanks, with Chris Sutton dubbing him a “one-man closing down machine” final season.

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The striker’s high quality was additionally evident within the current victory over Hibernian, as he shook off an earlier miss to web a shocking, curling effort in that 4-0 thrashing, having been a “actual handful” on the evening, in line with Sutton.

With Maeda’s signing clearly having paid off for Celtic, such has been his affect in 2022, the membership might repeat that switch masterclass with the seize of his former teammate and worldwide colleague, Iwata.

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