CELTIC’S top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi is at the centre of a club and country mystery.
Ange Postecoglou has stated the Japanese striker will be with his country’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Australia for the forthcoming international break.
However, reports from the homeland of the Hoops fans’ favourite indicate he has NOT been called up for the ties. A press release showing the full list of players selected by boss Hajime Moriyasu appears to confirm his absence.
Kyogo, who has fired in seven goals in eight starts since his £4.6million arrival from the J-League, has not kicked a ball for Postecoglou’s side since sustaining an knee injury while playing for Japan in their 1-0 win over China on September 7.
A BIG HAND FOR KYOGO…Celtic fans are hoping to welcome back Kyogo Furuhashi to club action in the near future.
He has missed five consecutive games for Celtic and he has been sorely missed with the team short on firepower and Albian Ajeti, scorer of nine goals since his £5million switch from West Ham last summer, the only recognised matchfit attack leader.
There is no chance of Kyogo starting tonight’s vitally important Europa League Group G encounter against Bayer Leverkusen at Parkhead tonight, although the manager has hinted he could get some game time at some stage.
The 26-year-old pacy frontman has returned to training and there may even be a chance of an appearance during Sunday’s midday clash with Scott Brown and his Aberdeen team-mates at Pittodrie on Sunday.
However, there is some confusion at the moment with Postecoglou, as reported in the Daily Record, stating: “I’m keen to get them (Kyogo and Callum McGregor) some game-time before the break. Obviously, Cal’s going away with the Scotland team and Kyogo’s been selected in the Japanese team, so we need to assess where they’re at.”
Possibly something got lost in translation, but there is little doubt Celtic fans would much prefer their hottest property to remain at Lennoxtown to work on his fitness to be up to speed by the time the Premiership restarts with a league game against Motherwell at Fir Park on October 16.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Bayer Leverkusen this evening – only in your champion CQN.