Celtic fans have noticed how quiet Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi has been over the last few weeks. Having scored just one goal in his last eight games in all competitions, his form is way off last season’s 1.04 goals per 90 minutes he was averaging in Celtic’s Scottish Premiership triumph where he also swept the club’s player of the season awards.
Whilst he is still averaging over a goal every second game in the league this season, and has also finally found the key to breaking his Champions League goalscoring duck, the goals have dried up compared to last season’s haul that saw him earn comparisons to Henrik Larsson.
But how do Celtic get the best out of Kyogo Furuhashi like we witnessed under Ange Postecoglou?
One of the reasons why Kyogo’s goalscoring form has dried up compared to last season has been because some of the crosses over the last few weeks haven’t been playing to his strengths as much as they were under Ange Postecoglou.
Kyogo is a relatively diminutive forward who relies on the rest of his teammates to be on the exact same page as he is, as he breezes off the shoulder of the last defender with his pace and in-game intelligence.
Over the last few weeks, however, the likes of Luis Palma and Yang Hyun-jun have been playing high balls into the box which has led to the Japanese forward’s effect on the game being nullified.
There is a lot less of a reliance on Kyogo Furuhashi this season which has led to him being less and less involved in the game.
Getting him on the ball
Kyogo Furuhashi is far more than just a clinical finisher. He is more than a one-dimensional player as he has played in a number of different positions in his career including on the wings which highlights the different aspects to his game.
At the start of the season the forward was noticeably dropping deep to collect the ball and linking the midfield to the attack and we haven’t seen him do that as often over the last few weeks.
He has shown in a Celtic shirt that he doesn’t need to be on the ball in the box to cause problems, his goal against Rangers in the derby at Ibrox earlier in the season highlights his quality from distance, but allowing a player with the individual quality of Kyogo to get on the ball as much as possible will only benefit the team going forward.
Play Oh alongside him
It has been noticeable this season that Kyogo has been isolated up front. There has been a lack of service but also a dearth of options to help him out, so bringing on a physical presence such as Oh to help provide another option and a different outlet up front would massively benefit Celtic.
Given the current injury problems in the team in the wide areas as well, switching to a 3-5-2 would also help Celtic out in dealing with a problem position.
Oh also seems to be hitting a bit of form domestically over the last few weeks and he just needs a good run of games to find his footing at the club, and allowing him that starting position could do just that.
JAMES MCKENZIE // Follow James HERE