Hibs TV co-commentator Tam McManus bigs up Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi

By David Walton

October 27, 2021

Hibs TV co-commentator Tam McManus has been talking up Kyogo Furuhashi in the build-up to tonight’s game at Easter Road.

Kyogo has been a revelation at Celtic Park this season, slamming home 9 goals and 2 assists in 14 appearances for the club [Transfermarkt]. It’s early days, but he’s more than repaying the reported £4.6m the Hoops splashed out to nab him from Vissel Kobe [Scottish Sun].

Tonight, Celtic fans will be expecting the Japanese international to lead the line after flirting with a wide-right position on occasion. Up against a strong Hibs defence, the Bhoys will need Kyogo’s runs in behind to catch Jack Ross’ men out.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

And speaking in his Daily Record column, McManus has been talking Furuhashi up as he compared him to club icon Henrik Larsson:

“Celtic are coming onto a game and in Kyogo Furuhashi they have a star that very much reminds me of Henrik Larsson and accolades don’t come much bigger than that.

“I played against Larsson plenty of times and Kyogo’s movement is similar to Larsson – he is off the shoulder, he’s in behind and he anticipates things. He is a fabulous player and has lit up the Premiership. It’s as big a test as Hibs have had all season.”

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Kyogo Furuhashi will be key to Celtic success in Edinburgh tonight

Postecoglou needs to forget any notion of playing Kyogo wide right tonight. If he wants to give Giorgos Giakoumakis another runout, he needs to come up with an alternative solution.

The fact is that the former Vissel Kobe man simply doesn’t have the same influence in that position. Kyogo has a burst of pace, but he doesn’t have that raw speed needed to dart beyond a full-back and get a good delivery into the box.

Whilst full-backs still need to keep watch of his runs in behind, he isn’t a natural crosser of the ball either. He has much less room to operate in, and even when he does get beyond his man, he still isn’t in his comfort zone. That’s just the brutally honest truth.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

You have to feature Kyogo through the centre. That way he can target more than one defender and has a lot more room to cause havoc. He has the ability to cause real confusion between the centre-backs. Exploiting that will be huge tonight.

After all, we all know Hibs are going to try and come out and attack this evening. Their fans don’t stand for anything less. That should give Furuhashi the space to cause some real damage in behind.

Comparisons to Larsson’s movement aren’t inaccurate. But in order for him to prove it, Ange needs to play him in his rightful position.

In other news, Hibernian confirm 6 first-team squad players will miss tonight’s Celtic game