Celtic hero Chris Sutton relishing "frightening prospect" in store for Scottish football
Former Celtic hero Chris Sutton knows a thing or two about the striking position, becoming an icon for supporters as a forward during the Martin O’Neill era.
Sutton struck up a famous partnership with Henrik Larsson during that time, often providing the physical presence and applying the finishing touch that dovetailed perfectly with the Swedish legend.
And the pundit reckons Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis could be set to take Scottish football by storm over the coming season, playing on their own through the middle or even together.
Writing in his Daily Record column this week, Sutton is relishing the selection calls facing manager Ange Postecoglou.
He said: “It’s an outstanding conundrum for Postecoglou and it will allow him to be flexible with his line ups and the way Celtic play. It will be who is best suited to each game on a weekly basis. He can keep rivals guessing because the two of them are so different.
“Kyogo is all about pace and movement, playing on the shoulder and spinning in behind. Giakoumakis can throw his weight around, hold the ball up, get in to the box and finish. How do you prepare for that if both are available for selection? You work all week on dealing with Kyogo, then Giakoumakis appears to bully defenders. Or vice versa. You go with a strong centre back partnership to deal with the physical threat – and you end up chasing shadows with Kyogo buzzing around.
“Celtic don’t have one main striker now – they’ve got two. Daizen Maeda is there too, but you have to say he’s looked more of a threat in the wide areas than through the middle, as he’s not quite as natural a finisher as the other two. And who is to say it will be one of the other with Kyogo and Giakoumakis anyway? Postecoglou could play both.
“Kyogo wasn’t an out-and-out No.9 in Japan and there could be times when the pair of them play as a partnership. It’s a frightening prospect for defences. Like I say, nice problems for a manager to have.”
With both players already off the mark in pre-season, the odds are good on the pair of them hitting the ground running in the Scottish Premiership.
Giakoumakis, in particular, will be a changed man from 12 months ago. He was injured for much of last summer and didn’t sign for the Bhoys until very late in the window.
This period working under Postecoglou and alongside the rest of his teammates will have been invaluable.
With Kyogo also looking as sharp as ever, Sutton’s comment about the duo being frightening for the rest of Scottish football seems spot on.
In other news, Pundit backs uncompromising Celtic in Champions League.