CELTIC were handed some surprise good news with the shock omission of Kyogo Furuhashi from Japan’s squad for the Asian Cup which starts on January 14.
Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate are included, despite the fact the midfielder has been struggling to overcome a muscular problem after limping off early in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid at Parkhead in late October.
National Head Coach Hajime Moriyasu has amazingly overlooked the credentials of Kyogo who produced the stunning match winning strike in the 2-1 victory in the Glasgow derby at the weekend.
JOY BHOYS…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his derby winner with Paulo Bernardo and Luis Palma.
Missing out on the tournament will be a personal blow for the Hoops’ talismanic frontman, but will be welcomed by Brendan Rodgers who was braced to search the transfer market for a replacement with back-up hitman Oh Hyeon-gyu included in the South Korean pool of players alongside winger Yang Hyun-jun.
Marco Tilio, the winger who has rarely figured since his summer arrival from Melbourne City, will also be missing after being called into the Australia squad for the competition that ends on February 14 with the Final in Qatar.
Kyogo netted his tenth goal of the campaign against Philippe Clement’s side and it was believed he was a certainty to make the competition until the bombshell news, as reported in the Daily Record.
The pacy attacker is now prepared to face St Mirren in Paisley in tomorrow night’s Premiership encounter and will be available for selection after the break for the Scottish Cup-tie against Buckie Thistle and the away league matches against Aberdeen and Hibs.
* CQN wishes all our readers a Happy New Year and we hope 2024 brings you all you could hope for – on and off the field. Please take care, remain safe, stay healthy and be good to each other.