Celtic credited as transfer game changers after Parkhead 'trigger' opens European eyes to hidden gems

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The former Hoops manager wasted little time in using the Japanese transfer market during his Celtic reign.

Former Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has been credited with changing the Japanese transfer market in recent years.

The Australian was well versed in the Far East after spending time in charge of J-League club Yokohama Marinos four years prior to his arrival at Celtic during the summer of 2021. Postecoglou wasted little time in utilising his knowledge of the Japanese market as the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate joined the Hoops from Vissel Kobe and Kawasaki Frontale within months of his appointment.

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Along with fellow Japan international Daizen Maeda, the duo went on to play significant roles in helping Postecoglou complete a Premiership and League Cup double during his first season in charge before going one better with a historic treble during what would become his final season with Celtic 12 months later.

The former Australia boss moved on to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur last summer when he was appointed as permanent successor to Antonio Conte - but the impact he made on the Japanese transfer market still stays strong according to the J League’s technical director, Terry Westley.

He told The Sun: “What the old manager at Celtic did had a huge impact at the club and in Japan as a whole - but it also had an effect on the number of clubs who now call me to ask about players in the country. They ask about their contracts, how much they are worth, and we're even getting agents thinking this is a good stepping stone to make.

"They can go in and do well and move on again and their value increases. All around, Celtic have certainly gained from it. But whether it's the Bundesliga, the Premier League or the Championship in England, more and more clubs are looking at that area. Postecoglou was the instigator of that, really. He started that market. That's been the trigger. The players have done well at Celtic, people are talking about them and their transfer values are increasing.

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He continued: ”They have been successful and Ange was a trendsetter as other clubs, for sure, are looking now. He was well ahead of the game and obviously had a huge advantage because he'd worked out there, or seen most of them in the flesh.

“What Ange did, was ask the question, 'Can you work in the second curve?'. And by that we mean, what are things going to look like in the future? Everyone works in the present and before you know where you are, you're going backwards because you just keep doing the same thing. What Postecoglou did was he changed the marketplace. Everyone's thinking, 'What's next?' now.”

Kyogo, Maeda and Hatate remain key components of the Celtic squad and they will hope to boost their bid for the Premiership title when Brendan Rodgers’ side host St Mirren on Saturday afternoon.

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