LEGENDARY German striker Jurgen Klinsmann watched as Oh Hyeon-gyu fired blanks in Celtic’s 4-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park yesterday.
The South Korean international boss is on a whistle-stop tour of Europe to get form updates on his players and the 22-year-old new Bhoy was on his radar in Ayrshire.
Oh was introduced at the start of the second-half for Kyogo Furuhashi after the Japanese hitman had been involved in an eventful opening 45 minutes where he notched his 29th goal of the season – and his 49th since his July 2021 arrival – and missed the opportunity of a half-century when he belted a penalty-kick off a post.
HIGH JINKS…Oh Hyeon-gyu feels the weight of Killie gender Ash Taylor as he clear from the Celtic attacker with Lewis Mayo and Sam Walker standing guard.
His replacement was all action as usual, but couldn’t add to the three goals he has notched since his £2.5million move from K-League outfit Sowun Bluewings at the turn of the year.
Rocco Vata, who was also introduced after the break, set up Oh’s best chance with a superb right-wing cross to the near post, but the powerhouse striker’s first-time drive sizzled wide of Sam Walker’s upright.
The youngster was also booked for a high-boot challenge on Liam Donnelly with some of the home players pathetically motioning for a red card.
Ange Postecoglou made it clear he had not put on Oh solely for the benefit of the watching Klinsmann, the one-time Bayern Munich and Spurs marksman, and said: “Not because he was here, which is great. We just want to get him game time because we think he will be good for us.
“It’s a tricky period with no midweek games when there would normally be rotation. In every game, he’s made an impact.
IN THE THICK OF THE ACTION…Oh Hyeon-gyu is grounded as he puts pressure on keeper Sam Walker.
“It was difficult as the second-half was more of a battle, which he’s always up for. He got in a great position when he missed his chance. He wants to improve all the time.
“He’s hungry to be a top footballer and he will get more chances.”
Klinsmann, who took over as the South Korean supremo in February, brought in the forward to his last two squads and is an admirer of the Hoops frontman.
The former German national coach, in a report in the Daily Record, added: “He’s a very special talent. I had him with me in the last two matches there when we played Colombia and Uruguay two weeks ago and he left a very positive impression.
BOOKED…an astonished Oh Hyeon-gyu gets a yellow card from referee David Dickinson after a high-boot challenge on Liam Donnelly.
“I was very impressed. He’s a good lad and a huge talent I think for Celtic and for us in the Korean national team. When you have the opportunity to play for a massive club like Celtic, it’s not easy for young players, obviously he’s fighting for minutes.
“But it’s a big learning curve and I can only recommend young players to come to Europe and give it a try, give it their best and see where it goes. He is part of the future. That’s why I am here.
“Obviously, I understand he is not always playing from the beginning, but we count upon him. He is learning a lot.
“He is learning every day in training, he is learning every minute that he is on the field, so we are very pleased with him.”
Oh’s education is likely to continue when Motherwell visit Parkhead on Saturday afternoon as the champions zero in on their second successive title.