Celtic scouting mission: Players from Asia to look at

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The Scotsman – GLASGOW, The path from Japanese football to the cinch Premiership is not a well-trodden one – but that hasn’t stopped Ange Postecoglou from breaking new ground.

He’s already brought Kyogo Furuhashi from the J-League, with Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi set to follow – and he’s not planning on stopping his transfer raid on Asia there.

“If you look at all the big leagues around the world, you’ll see Asian players,” he said. “Not just from Japan but from Korea, from Australia, from Iran. There are some very good footballers on that side of the world. But if people don’t want to look there, I’m happy to be the only one.”

The boss isn’t the only one looking though, as, prompted by his national name-dropping, we delved into some of the top Asian leagues and teams for potential players the boss could look to recruit in the future.

Armin Sohrabian (Gol Gohar)

Capped once by Iran, much of current leaders in the Persian Gulf Pro League Gol Gohar’s early promise has been aided by the 26-year-old left-sided, defender who has scored twice without defeat. Potentially a profitable asset.

Mehdi Ghayedi (Shabab Al-Ahli)

Little in stature at 5ft 5in, but big on talent, the 22-year-old wonderkid already has eight Iranian caps and topped the charts for assists last season before leaving Esteghlal with the league’s young player of the year award and moving to UAE this summer. A left-sided attacker, Celtic already have Jota but with the Portuguese still just a loan deal and injured until at least January, Ghayedi could be a future option.

Mehdi Abdi (Persepolis)

One of the stand-out players with Persepolis, the top team in Iran’s Persian Gulf Pro League, scored nine times from midfield en route to last season’s title and was featured in the Asian Champions League this term. In a league dominated by experienced professionals, Abdi looks like a prospect, aged 23 – though yet to receive international honours.

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