Celtic’s 22-year-old striker beginning to find his scoring touch

Celtic’s talismanic forward, Kyogo Furuhashi, was on the receiving end of a sickening clash of heads against Aberdeen that has resulted in the Japanese international missing out on the upcoming round of fixtures for the Samurai Blue.

Speaking on Instagram following the incident, Kyogo stated:

“I don’t know how long I was there, but I don’t remember anything about my friends worrying about me afterwards, about walking off the pitch on my own. I don’t remember anything.”

This lack of recollection raises questions over a potential concussion, which would rule him out for a longer spell, although club doctors have assured Celtic’s goalscoring idol that he is fine.

The worrying injury to Kyogo opened the way for backup striker, Oh Hyeon-gyu, who grabbed a brace from the bench against a hapless Aberdeen.

If there has been a concussion, it will provide Oh with even more starting opportunities, which is something the South Korean has been patiently waiting for. It took him a long while to finally get off the mark this season, but following a game-winning goal against St Mirren a few weeks ago, it looks like the 22-year-old could be back to the form he showed towards the tail end of last season.

Overall, his return of 10 goals in 903 minutes equates to roughly a goal-per-game. When most of these minutes have come off the bench, a run of starts would, no doubt, allow Oh to get into his flow and show Celtic fans exactly what he’s capable of.

Tough start to the season

Oh had come hot out of the blocks towards the end of last season, boasting an impressive goals-to-game ratio, however, he had initially struggled to find the same rich vein of form under Brendan Rodgers that he had displayed in his debut campaign.

He was only being offered limited minutes from the bench and was attempting to make the most of the opportunities afforded to him, with his work-rate and determination being there for all to see.

The one aspect of his game that seemed natural in his first 21 appearance last season, however, appeared to have deserted him this time round as he hit something of a goal drought. The chances were being presented to the striker, but he just couldn’t seem to get off of the mark.

That was until he was deployed from the bench against St Mirren at St Mirren.



Off the mark and hitting his stride

Celtic were struggling to finish off an organised and composed St Mirren side that night at Parkhead. The team had gone behind early on, however a cracker from David Turnbull brought Brendan Rodgers’ side level.

Oh was brought on for the goalscorer in what was an attacking tactical change, and one that paid dividends.

The striker finished with aplomb when given the opportunity to notch the winner with seven minutes to go. You could almost see the stress and weight of expectation evaporating as he celebrated the goal, and he was rewarded for his winner by starting against Ross County in the following game where he was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet after seeing his efforts chopped off by VAR.


Aberdeen brace

His recent brace against Aberdeen was the sign of a player regaining his confidence and slowly but surely building momentum. Chances are always going to be limited when you are behind Kyogo Furuhashi in the pecking order, but if he continues to excel from the bench then opportunities will present themselves, something the manager has touched on when speaking to the media.

Following Oh’s winner against the Buddies, Rodgers said, “All they can do is maintain a strong mentality. That sort of second striker playing behind a top striker, it’s a tough ask. But everything about him is very good. For the guys who aren’t playing so much, you always have to recognise and acknowledge their effort which I do with them. He looks after his body, his diet, everything is superb. He’s so professional, he looks at his training and he knows when asked upon he can come in and make an impact.”

Oh has the manager’s backing, and if he can keep up his good performance levels then there will most definitely be more starting opportunities in the near future.


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