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Result for Celtic- Chris Sutton reacts to Asian Cup shock

Like anyone that regularly watches Celtic Chris Sutton was amazed when Japan announced their Asian Cup squad with no place for Kyogo Furuhashi.

There might have been a recent dip in form but the former Vissel Kobe striker has been outstanding over the course of 2023, finishing off with a brilliant goal in Saturday’s Glasgow Derby, his seventh goal in the fixture this year.

For good measure Kyogo also scored against Lazio and Atletico Madrid, there won’t be many involved in the Asian Cup that have scored in this season’s Champions League.

It is hard to work out the thinking behind Hajime Moriyasu’s decision but the flip side is that it absolutely gets Celtic out of a hole in terms of strikers over the next six weeks.

There are two Celtic players in the Japanese squad but in any random poll of Celtic fans Kyogo would come out as their most important player nine times out of ten. Any doubters would have been persuaded after Saturday’s shot sailed over Jack Butland.

Neither Daizen Maeda or Reo Hatate have been near top form this season but their inclusion in the 26 man squad confirms the view that ‘they can do a job’ with Japan among the favourites to win the Asian Cup.

While Hatate and Maeda clock in for international duty Kyogo can recharge his batteries over the next two weekends then sharpen up his shooting boots for the remainder of the season when Buckie Thistle visit Celtic Park in the Scottish Cup.

More importantly Celtic are away at Aberdeen on February 4 then at Hibs three days later, barring injury Kyogo will be available for both matches.

With Oh Hyeon-gyu joining Maeda on international duty Celtic would have been forced to go into the transfer market for a striker, that remains an appealing prospect but after the squad announcement this morning it isn’t quite such an urgent task.

Tomorrow in Paisley there is one more fixture to get through, full points away to St Mirren and the availability of Kyogo will make the winter break less stressful for Brendan Rodgers than it was looking a few weeks ago.

CLICK HERE for Kyogo leads Derby celebrations with the Green Brigade.

CLICK HERE for Sky Sports highlights of Celtic’s Derby Day victory.

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