BRENDAN RODGERS has admitted his admiration of Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi.
The talismanic Japanese international frontman fired in 34 goals last season as the champions clinched their world record eighth treble of all three domestic honours.
Kyogo claimed 20 strikes in his debut campaign following his bargain £4.6million signing from J League outfit Vissel Kobe – despite missing FOUR months through injury.
KYO-GOAL…Celtic hitman Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates another strike duing the 5-0 rout of Aberdeen as the curtain comes down on the club’s 53rd league title success.
He was an immediate hit with the Hoops fans when he blitzed in a hat-trick on his first appearance at Parkhead as the team romped to a 6-0 Premiership success over Dundee on August 8.
It’s hardly surprising that Kyogo has already been linked with a reunion with Ange Postecoglou at Spurs while unlikely tales of newly-promoted Burnley gearing up for a bid have emerged over the weekend.
However, Rodgers clearly sees the fleet-footed 28-year-old marksman as being crucial to his plans for the club and the Irishman has already compared the forward’s exciting style of play to that of his former prolific scorers Luis Suarez, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge.
The returning Hoops chief said: “What I see is a team where there are no real big stars. There are some top players – Kyogo, Hatate, Jota, these guys. But the star really is the team.
“It reminds me very much of my Swansea team, how they are really synchronised in how they work and how they play.
SMILES BETTER…Kyogo Furuhashi holds aloft the Scottish Cup after the 3-1 win over Inverness Caley Thistle sealed Celtic’s world record eighth treble.
“It was a similar sort of idea coming into Swansea. They had a decent foundation that we had to build on. I see Celtic as being very similar to that, where it’s all about the team. It’s that synchronisation that is the success.”
Rodgers, speaking to The Herald, added: “I’ve seen quite a bit of Kyogo. If you look through my history: strikers who can penetrate the last line, who can receive and score goals.
“Danny Graham at Swansea was great for me. Then, at Liverpool, Sturridge and Suarez could run in behind and penetrate. It was the same with Vardy at Leicester.
“Kyogo is certainly that. It’s a team who can look after the ball and play at fast speed.”