KYOGO FURUHASHI has been tasked with a slightly modified role in Brendan Rodgers’ revamp of the team’s playing style.
The Japanese international striker scored his 56th goal for the champions in the 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie last weekend.
It was added to his counter in the opening-day 4-2 win over Ross County at Parkhead as the 28-year-old fans’ favourite continued to put opposition to the sword since his £4.6million arrival from J-League outfit Vissel Kobe in July 2021.
NEW SEASON, OLD ROUTINE…Kyogo Furuhashi is congratulated by Liel Abada after scoring in the 4-2 opening-day win against Ross County at Parkhead.
It was love at first sight for the Hoops faithful when Kyogo made his first appearance in the east end of Glasgow on August 8 and rattled in a glorious hat-trick in the team’s runaway 6-0 triumph over luckless Dundee.
However, second the-around gaffer Rodgers has tweaked his role in the line-up which has brought comments from punters and pundits.
Former Celtic marksman Chris Sutton offers his take on the situation as he says: “I have to admit, some of the stuff around Kyogo Furuhashi amuses me.
“Listening to some people, you’d think he’d been asked to play in goal. Kyogo is coming deeper into the game to link the game. So what?
“He’s an intelligent footballer and all intelligent footballers are going to get involved in play. Do you think Henrik Larsson just hung around idle when the game was going on elsewhere on the pitch? Did he not step back and make things happen?”
MATCHWINNER…Henrik Larsson celebrates his goal in Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final triumph over Rangers at Parkhead in 2004.
Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It didn’t affect Henrik’s goal output and it won’t affect Kyogo’s if he keeps doing the right things.
“In any case, the striking position still needs to be addressed. With Oh Hyeon-gyu out, what are Celtic going to do if Kyogo is missing?
“Rodgers tried Daizen Maeda in his Japan position as an out-and-out striker in pre-season and he did fine, but that’s not a long-term solution.
“For a start, his strengths aren’t dropping and linking a game. He’s even more of an in-behind runner than Kyogo.”
The remaining 12 days of the transfer window will be extremely interesting with Rodgers determined to strengthen his squad.
No one should rule out a new goalscorer being added to his player pool.