Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi: quick, fit and clever, says Japanese football expert Alan Gibson

By Euan Davidson

July 20, 2021

We know that new Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi can score goals, but Japanese football expert Alan Gibson knows there’s more to his game than that.

Speaking to 67 Hail Hail, JSoccer editor Gibson was asked about his non-finishing attributes. Those, we know well: 16 in 22 in 20-21 [Transfermarkt], 16 in 39 the year prior.

An exciting talent, he most assuredly is. At 26, he’s coming into his peak years, but it’s not just his goal-scoring that set Furuhashi apart as a bonafide star of Japanese football.

Gibson told us [67 Hail Hail YouTube]:

“He’s very quick [of mind], and on the floor. He can see the next pass, and see what’s coming, and he can also see where else he can use the ball.

“Another reason he didn’t play for Japan, is because he finished University.

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“He’s quick, he’s fast, he’s fit, he knows how to run and where to run. After 95 minutes… he’ll still be chasing down a ball into the corner. I’ve warned him about deep-fried Mars Bars and Haggis, so he’s got to be careful with that stuff!

“I’ve watched Furuhashi for a years; he’s not weak, he’s thin and light compared to many players, but I was watching [him] closely a few days. He was getting hacked about a bit… but he was up quickly. He’s been getting a lot of training and fitness.

“The problem, like the rest of the world, is the referees. Can they handle it? Will they protect him, will they allow him to be kicked around? And will his team-mates come to his rescue if needed?”

Similarly slight players have had no problem adapting to Celtic, neither will Japanese football star Kyogo Furuhashi

If you consider the history of Celtic Football Club, sure there are some absolute bruisers in the annals of our club’s glittered past.

Generally speaking, though, we’ve never had a team of hulking great lumberers. Being quick, clever and reading the game well has been a facet of every Celtic legend.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

Now, this isn’t to say Furuhashi will follow the same path. However, any worries about physicality are based more on stereotypes than they are based in reality.

Japan, just like Scotland, has physical defenders. Any league in the world worth its salt has a match of brain and brawn in its defences. So, that’s nothing unusual.

As for his attributes, it sounds like Furuhashi has just what Celtic need. Like him or not, Mohamed Elyounoussi had similar traits: an eye for a creative pass, the ability to finish, and pace to burn. If we needed a direct replacement, and we did, it sounds like we’ve got the answer from Japanese football, in buying Kyogo Furuhashi.

Just like Ange Postecoglou, this is a guy with acclaim from an intensely-watched league, who fans and pundits alike absolutely adore.

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