KYOGO FURUHASHI’S snub for the Japanese international squad has been labelled “crazy” by former Celtic goal hero John Hartson.
The Hoops and Wales legend insists the livewire frontman, with 26 strikes already this season, is the BEST player available for his country.
However, boss Hajime Moriyasu has overlooked Kyogo and his in-form team-mate Reo Hatate for his pool of players for the fortchoming friendlies against Colombia and Uruguay.
Daizen Maeda, who played in the World Cup Finals in Qatar in November and December while his colleagues remained in Scotland, has once again been given the nod by the Japanese supremo.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE…Kyogo Furuhashi turns away in triumph after scoring the opening goal in the Viaplay League Cup Final at Hampden last month while rival keeper Allan McGregor and Ben Davies hold an inquest.
EIGHT’S JUST GREAT…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates yet another goal.
Moriyasu’s decision has been met with some raised eyebrows considering the blistering form displayed by both Kyogo, who has already earned 13 caps, and Hatate in the Hoops’ surge towards the treble, as CQN reported earlier this week.
The electrifying frontman, who claimed 20 goals in his debut term despite missing out for four months with injury, knocked in a deadly double in the Viaplay League Cup Final triumph over Michael Beale’s Ibrox side last month with the second and winning strike set up neatly with a killer pass from Hatate.
Remarkably, Moriyasu appears to remain unimpressed and Hartson, speaking to the Go Radio Football Show, said: “I think it is crazy that Hatate and Kyogo are not in the Japan national team.
“You find me a better striker than Kyogo who plays for Japan.
“I know their other striker is at Brighton, but it is crazy.”
PRIZE GUYS…Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate celebrate the second strike at Hampden with Daizen Maeda about to join in with the silverware on the brink of a return to Paradise.
Hartson is making a reference to Kauro Mitoma who has netted a mere six goals for the south coast club this season – 21 short of Kyogo’s total.
Kyogo was disappointed to miss out in the soccer showpiece in the Middle East in winter, but has thumped in 14 goals in 18 appearances since the return of domestic football with the 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on December 17 when comeback skipper Callum McGregor collected the late points-clincher.
Hatate, with just one cap for his country, has also responded in determined fashion which has been good news for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic.
Both are likely to play their part against Hibs at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon as the countdown continues to a second successive title.
The champions are nine points ahead with 10 games to play.