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Exclusive: Mitoma at Brighton; the Celtic four - Vata urges British clubs to target J-League talent

Albanian legend Rudi Vata isn't surprised seeing Celtic's Japanese contingent make an impact with the SPL champions.

Vata, a cult hero with the Hoops, retains a connection to Celtic via son Rocco, who is impressing with the club's academy.

The former defender now acts as an agent and football advisor and after spending time in the Japanese game with Yokohama FC, Vata has watched with keen interest as Postecoglou has tapped the J-League transfer market to strengthen his squad.

Postecoglou, who left Yokohama F Marinos for Celtic Park, has brought in Japanese players Kyogo Furuhashi, Yosuke Ideguchi, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatete. For Vata, this is good business, having witnessed first hand the quality being produced by the Japanese youth system.

Vata has also watched keenly the impact of Kaoru Mitoma at Brighton and says British clubs should be more active in the J-League transfer market.

He told Tribalfootball.com: "I think there is a lot of potential at J-League and I think there is a lot of talent in Japan and of course there are a lot of Japanese players that play in Europe for a number of years now.

"The reasons behind that is they have talent, discipline and they dedicate themselves to the work, they are very hardworking nation and that's why they have success in Europe and are impressing with their performances."

Beyond the business of transfers, Vata admits he still treasures his time with Celtic - which was made all the better for playing with Hoops legend Paul McStay. The Albanian says the former midfielder was as much a leader off the pitch as fans saw of him on it.

Vata added, "Paul McStay to me was like a brother, I was like his younger brother and he was a great player.

"He showed always by his example, a really good gentleman of football and a top professional guy. I only can say great things about Paul McStay."



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