Celtic's Matt O'Riley wowed after playing with Kyogo for the first time yesterday

By David Walton

April 10, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley was left wowed with Kyogo Furuhashi’s movement against St Johnstone and stated it’s not something he’s ever seen before.

Kyogo ended a 4-month absence against the Saints yesterday and immediately made an impact. The Japanese international played a superb ball over the top for Daizen Maeda that would lead to goal number 7 of the afternoon.

However, he also had opportunities to score himself before the end of the contest. Immediately after goal number 7, he was threaded in by O’Riley but fired wide. Kyogo then took up a great position at the death but Liel Abada chose to shoot instead of playing him in.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

To sum up, it didn’t take long for Kyogo to get back into his stride. And, speaking after the game, O’Riley couldn’t help but be blown away by the former Vissel Kobe man’s movement.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, O’Riley said: “I’ve only trained with Kyogo a couple of times and I could see he’s a really top player. I’d heard from everyone else how good he was but you really notice it when you’re with him every day.

“The sharpness of his movement is not something I’ve seen before. He always knows where to be. There were a couple of times when I tried to thread the ball through to him and his positioning was top class.

“Giorgos Giakoumakis has been top class and that just shows the depth of squad we have.”

Celtic 7-0 St. Johnstone | Full-Time Reaction

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Matt O’Riley played with Kyogo for the first time in Celtic’s St Johnstone rout

It’s not exactly surprising that O’Riley found it such a pleasure to play alongside Kyogo yesterday. It was the first time he’s had the opportunity to do so given the Japanese has been injured ever since O’Riley arrived in Glasgow.

The pair also seemed to team well with each other during the game. O’Riley’s game is all about winning the ball back and playing teammates in on goal with through balls. Kyogo, meanwhile, is the kind of player who is always playing on the shoulder of defenders.

We saw some promising glimpses against the Saints yesterday. Granted, they had been rag-dolled about for over 70 minutes before Kyogo came on to the field. But even so, there was such an ease in which the striker managed to get into those goalscoring positions he’s known for.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It will be interesting now to see whether Ange throws both men in against Rangers for next week’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash at Hampden. Especially when you consider how impactful both were.

O’Riley’s brace surely puts him into a good position even if Tom Rogic shone at Ibrox last week. It all highlights the depth we now have in the squad and shows exactly why we’re sitting pretty at the top of the Premiership.

But one thing’s for sure – yesterday’s Kyogo cameo has left fans itching to see more.

In other news, Michael Stewart left stunned by “silky, classy” Ange Postecoglou signing in big Celtic win