John Hartson stunned after hearing Japan boss' comments on Celtic duo

By Milo Clay

March 17, 2023

John Hartson has been reacting to the news that Celtic duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate have not been called up for Japan’s latest 26-man squad.

Both Kyogo and Hatate missed out on the World Cup last year, while their teammate Daizen Maeda starred for Japan in Qatar. 

After both players have been in exceptional form for the Bhoys ever since, they would have been hoping to receive a call-up ahead of friendlies against Colombia and Uruguay. 

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But while Maeda has retained his place in Hajime Moriyasu’s squad, there was no place for either Kyogo or Hatate. 

And the Japan manager’s comments on the duo has led to Hartson labelling his decision as ‘crazy’. 

Hartson stunned by Kyogo and Hatate Japan snub 

The Japanese manager offered an explanation as to why Kyogo and Hatate missed his squad once again. 

He said: “As I think we all agree, (Hatate and Furuhashi) would absolutely be able to contribute to the team, but this time I wanted to try out some different players and that’s why they weren’t selected. I’ve watched all of Celtic’s games and seen what they’ve accomplished and their presence in the team.

“But there’s no bar to clear to be called up, it’s a comprehensive decision,” he added. “We think about the level of the league and various other factors when making the decision.” as quoted by The Daily Record

Hartson reacted to Moriyasu’s comments on the Celtic duo on the Go Football Radio Show and it’s fair to say that he wasn’t impressed with the decision. 

“Has he got a point? I think it is crazy that Hatate and Kyogo are not in the Japan national team. You find me a better striker that plays for Japan? I know one of their strikers is at Brighton, but it is crazy.” as quoted by The Scottish Sun

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

You have to start to wonder what both Hatate and Kyogo have to do to earn their place in Japan’s squad. 

Kyogo is undoubtedly the most prolific Japanese striker around at the moment, netting 26 goals in all competitions under Ange Postecoglou this season. 

Hatate has also posted brilliant numbers from midfield as the 25-year-old has had a hand in 17 goals. 

Despite the likelihood that both will be gutted after being snubbed, it could be a positive for Celtic. 

The pair will be eager to prove the Japanese boss wrong over the remainder of the season and they will also get the opportunity to get some well-deserved rest during the international break.