AS signs of intent go, a goal four minutes into your debut isn’t too shabby. Daizen Maeda is hoping that it is also a sign of things to come.

The Japanese striker got his Celtic career off to a flyer on Monday night, finishing nicely from a prime poacher’s position to get his team off to the perfect start against Hibernian, and introducing himself to the 60,000-odd supporters inside Celtic Park in fine style.

Understandably, the 24-year-old was giddy with the whole experience after the match, but he was clear-minded when it came to spelling out what his aims were for the remainder of the season on both a personal and a collective level.

His next objective is to prove that his debut strike was no flash in the pan, and that he can be a consistent source of goals for Celtic. If he can do that, it follows that his team will have a greater chance of winning the Premiership title, an outcome Maeda believes can very much come to fruition.

“I have to score a lot of goals,” Maeda said. “If not, the team cannot reach to be the league champions. So, I want to be a player who can lead at Celtic.

“If we want to be a champion, we have to be a good team. We have to keep scoring no matter who is playing, so it was good that I could do it.”

The obvious – and perhaps lazy – comparison to draw from Maeda’s performance on Monday night was how he stacked up compared to the compatriot he replaced at the sharp end of the Celtic attack, but as evident as it was almost immediately to the eye, the forward is set on proving he is his own man.

While Kyogo’s movement, technical ability and cunning have given an almighty headache for Scottish defenders, the more rudimentary approach of Maeda may well endear him just as much to a Scottish audience.

“I am not a player with the technique [of Kyogo],” he admitted. “I am more of a player with my heart.

“So I want to show how I can fight against the other teams. This is what I want to show to the fans.”

That experience of playing in front of a Celtic Park crowd for the first time was one that Maeda has been dreaming about ever since he heard of Ange Postecoglou’s plans for a reunion with a player who did so well for him previously at Yokohama F. Marinos.

Not that you would have known it, given his composed early finish, but the prospect had him a little on edge prior to the game.

“It was much higher than my expectation,” he said.

“I knew there was a big expectation on me, so I was nervous before the game. But I could score the goal and I feel very happy about it.

“I didn’t imagine that it was going to happen, but I decided before the game that I would.

“I received a good pass from my team-mate [Tom Rogic] and what I did was just finish it.

“I really don’t get nervous, but before the Hibs game, I heard a lot of things and a lot of people spoke to me.

“This is why I got nervous, but fortunately, I could convert that feeling into a good energy. That was a good thing for me.”

What has helped Maeda to settle quickly of course is the fact that two of his countrymen have accompanied him on his Scottish adventure in the form of Roe Hatate – so impressive in midfield against Hibs – and Yosuke Ideguchi, who was handed a debut later in the game too.

He hopes that perhaps all four of Celtic’s Japanese players can take to the field at the same time in the near future, but he has also been blown away by the players who were already at the club since his arrival, both in terms of the welcome they have extended to him and their ability.

“I did enjoy [playing with Hatate], but I like to be playing with all of the Japanese players, also Kyogo,” he said.

“So I need to make sure I can keep playing every game and it would be great if we four could all play together at one point.

“All of my team-mates have impressed me. They all have good quality.

“We have had good training sessions and the more we play together, the more we can play better than we do now.”

Maeda’s previous relationship with Postecoglou and his familiarity with his methods and philosophy have also aided his transition, but given the talent he sees at his manager’s disposal, he knows his place in the starting XI will have to be earned just the same as anyone else.

With Kyogo's imminent return from injury, that starting spot is far from assured, but Maeda may already have shown enough to prove that any Kyogo absence in the future needn't be greeted with the same panic of the first half of the campaign.

“I knew the manager, but that does not mean I can always be a certain player [in the team],” he said.

“There is a lot of competition from within the team, so from the training, I have to show my quality.

“But yes I know the manager’s style very well and I am sure that later we can play much better.

“I am very happy I scored and that I contributed to the team.

“I am working hard now for the next game and contributing more.”