Pat Bonner voices Celtic concerns as he shines light on Kyogo Furuhashi importance

By David Walton

September 20, 2021

Pat Bonner has voiced his concerns over the current situation at Celtic as he highlighted the importance of Kyogo Furuhashi.

The Japanese international is still sidelined following an injury picked up for his country against Chine earlier this month. In his place, Albian Ajeti has had to feature as a lone-striker due to our lack of options in the final third.

Whilst Ajeti has three from three, Celtic fans and pundits were left stunned by our toothless display at Livingston yesterday. Mainly because many believed days like yesterday to be firmly in the past with regards to our lack of attacking intent.

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti was poor at Livingston (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And Bonner believes seeing Celtic so uncomfortable in the final third is a big blow to what fans have come to expect from them. Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sportsound show, Bonner also touched on Furuhashi’s influence:

“A few balls flashed across the six-yard box earlier in the game, and that was it. That’s not good enough, and they will put it down to injuries and missing key players like Kyogo, McGregor, Forrest. Starfelt and Taylor were also out today and they had to change that around a little bit again. But the players out on the pitch should be able to create a lot more than that yet they didn’t, and that’s the disappointment for the fans.

“They did start the season off very well. We seen them – they were scoring goals. Today, they couldn’t keep the ball out of the net plus they couldn’t really create. They’ve gone back again now today and that’s a big disappointment.

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“They need to get their players back. Kyogo’s absolutely key for them – he brought the place alive. You can’t rely on one player but he is a key, key player for them.”

Pat Bonner right to discuss Furuhashi, but Celtic can’t be so reliant

When Furuhashi picked up his injury, it was a big test for Celtic. It was a challenge to see just how reliant we were on the Japanese striker. The hope was that Ajeti would burst back onto the scene and make the absence as painless as possible.

Whilst you have to credit the Swiss striker for bagging three goals in three games, he hasn’t truly been able to replace Kyogo. Not when you take into account everything the new signing brings to the team.

Sure, they’re different kinds of strikers. Ajeti isn’t the kind of player who will stretch the defence and make runs down the flanks for example. He also isn’t the kind of player who plays on the shoulder either. Instead, he’s a penalty box striker looking to feed upon any scraps he receives.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Unfortunately, that just doesn’t look like the kind of player that suits an Ange Postecoglou team. Celtic had absolutely nobody stretching the Livingston defence yesterday. Nobody making advancing runs beyond the striker or down the flanks.

Everything was in front of the West Lothian side, and it showed. We were absolutely all over the place in an attacking sense for the first time this season. It’s far too early to say we took a step back of course. That kind of talk can be put on hold. For now, it’s one really poor performance in a season that has shown some early promise.

Postecoglou simply must ensure there’s no repeat anytime soon, however.

In other news, Mark Wilson hits out at Celtic board for preparation this season