Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi reportedly turned down AZ Alkmaar in 2019

By David Walton

August 18, 2021

As Celtic face AZ Alkmaar tonight, it could’ve been the case that Kyogo Furuhashi was lining up on the other side.

Indeed, the Japanese striker, who signed for the Hoops earlier this summer, was once an AZ Alkmaar target.

According to the Cool Japan Soccer back in 2019, both Alkmaar and Groningen were sniffing. This came after a 12-goal season in which the striker also bagged nine assists [Transfermarkt].

The story of Alkmaar’s interest in the striker is also backed up by the Daily Record, and more recently the Sportsman.

As quoted by Cool Japan Soccer at the time, Vissel Kobe sporting director Atsuhiro Miura said: “Rather than using the transfer as a stepping-stone move, we would prefer him to join a big team straight from Kobe.”

Instead, the Japanese international stayed on for two more years with Kobe before his £4.6m move to Celtic [Scottish Sun].

“Ange has Celtic playing the Dutch way” | AZ Alkmaar fan Anthony

“Ange has Celtic playing the Dutch way” | AZ Alkmaar fan Anthony

Celtic defence would be nowhere near ready to deal with an AZ Alkmaar-owned Kyogo Furuhashi

Thank goodness he’s on our side tonight, that’s all that really needs said about it.

Could you imagine if this current Celtic defence was coming up against a talent like Furuhashi? He’s exactly the kind of intelligent striker that has punished us in Europe over the years.

Finally, we have one on our side tonight. And it’s going to be down to the Alkmaar defence to try and keep the hitman out. Considering he has five goals in only four Celtic starts, it’s clear he’s got something about him.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

As for AZ, they actually have striker problems of their own heading into tonight. Top marksman Jesper Karlsson is suspended for the Parkhead clash. He’ll be back for the return leg, but for now Alkmaar will be missing the man who bagged them 12 goals last term [Transfermarkt].

Instead, the likes of Greece international Vangelis Pavlidis or young Jelle Duin could get the nod.

Whoever it is, thank goodness it’s not Furuhashi AZ will be calling on.

In other news, Report: Celtic confident of swift negotiations with Josip Juranovic