The standard of Scottish football has come into focus after in-form Celtic pair Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi were overlooked again by Japan.
The two players have been left out of Japan’s squad for home friendlies against Colombia and Uruguay later this month but Hoops attacker Daizen Maeda retains his place after scoring in the World Cup.
Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu made 10 changes to the 26-man squad he took to Qatar but found no place for Hatate and Furuhashi, who have stepped up their performances since their World Cup snubs.
Quoted by Japan Times journalist Dan Orlowitz on Twitter, Moriyasu said in a media conference: “I’ve watched all of Celtic’s games and seen what they’ve accomplished and their presence in the team.
“But there’s no bar to clear to be called up, it’s a comprehensive decision. We think about the level of the league and various other factors when making the decision.
“For this squad we focused on the squad from Qatar as well as some new players. There will be other call-ups. As I said, we’re trying to build the strongest team possible ahead of 2026. In order to do that we’re taking a wide view of how to build the team.
“As I think we all agree, (Hatate and Furuhashi) would absolutely be able to contribute to the team, but this time I wanted to try out some different players and that’s why they weren’t selected.”
Hatate won his first three Japan caps last year. The 25-year-old has delivered eight goals and nine assists this season.
Furuhashi has made 12 appearances for Japan since joining Celtic in the summer of 2021. The 28-year-old has scored 26 goals for his club this season including 15 in 18 matches since the World Cup.
The pair both played in the Champions League this season but Furuhashi has been overlooked in favour of the uncapped LASK attacker Keito Nakamura, who has scored 14 goals in 24 appearances in Austrian football this season but did not feature in European football.