Celtic player set for early return from international duty

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International breaks are often a concern for Celtic fans. Brendan Rodgers has seen more than a fair share of players picking up injuries while away with their national teams. Naturally, the supporters might have had a slight worry when they heard the news that Daizen Maeda could be sent back to Glasgow earlier than expected.

Maeda has been away with the Japan national team for back-to-back World Cup qualifying matches against North Korea. He played the full game in the first match in Tokyo, as Blue Samurai secured a 1-0 win.

The Celtic player gave what has now become a typical Maeda performance, full of running and endeavour, creating chances for teammates. He was also strong defensively, as we've come to expect when he plays for the Hoops.

The only difference noticeable was his blonde hair. Celtic fans were only just getting used to seeing him without what had become a trademark bald look.

Celtic player set for early return from international duty

As reported by The Scotsman, Maeda could be set for an early return from international duty after the postponement of the World Cup qualifier in North Korea. The reverse fixture was scheduled to take place on March 26 but the Asian Football Confederation has confirmed that the match will not take place due to “unforeseen circumstances” after the home team requested it to be moved to a neutral venue.

Maeda and the rest of the Japanese squad may continue some training together for a day or two. But it’s looking likely that they could be heading back early to their clubs.

While Maeda always seems full of energy, that additional rest period before Premiership action kicks off again could be very useful. Celtic face Livingston away on March 31. They then face the Rangers at Ibrox on April 7.