What Japan manager said about Celtic star Kyogo after crucial international win

By Euan Davidson

November 18, 2021

It looks as if Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu finally realises what he has with Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi.

Predominantly played on the wing for the Samurai Blue, Kyogo came on against Oman on Tuesday. This time, though, Moriyasu switched up his attacking options, and finished with two up-top.

It worked; a late goal from Junya Ito was the winner against Oman in Muscat. And although Furuhashi only played about half an hour, he’s left a distinct impression.

Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Kyogo, who’s scored 13 in 18 for Celtic, was praised by his international boss. Certainly, he’s deserved his caps, being top scorer in the J League prior to moving to Celtic. Somewhat unsurprisingly, he’s top scorer here, too [BBC].

Moriyasu said [Yahoo Japan]:

“He shines in that position the most at his club.

“I think he can play anywhere in the front line. But he can also play at the top of the game, getting in behind the opposition, making decisions from crosses out of the opposition’s field of vision, and starting from the top.

“I think we can make use of his play on the flanks in our team, but there are players coming through the ranks who are playing well and contributing to the team. So we tend to use him up top.”

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

In the right position, Celtic talisman Kyogo Furuhashi can really make a difference for Japan

With Japan struggling to score goals of late, especially against teams like Vietnam and Oman, something had to give eventually.

There is some excellent attacking talent in the Samurai Blue squad. Minamino, Ito, Osako, Tanaka, Kubo, Maeda and more can provide real threat. And, of course, Kyogo Furuhashi.

It’s easy for us to say “Kyogo should play, look at what he does for Celtic”. However, there are a lot of options there for Moriyasu. Good options, too.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

On form alone, though, Kyogo really should be more involved. He’s proven that his positioning can bamboozle defenders across continents. Not only that, his finishing has been genuinely exquisite at times, especially in Europa League action.

What a player. I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in saying how excited I am to see him against St Johnstone on Saturday night.

And, at the very least, the international break wasn’t too demanding on our star man. Small mercies, eh?

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