Interest in Celtic centre-forward Kyogo Furuhashi should come as no surprise to Ange Postecoglou.
That’s according to commentator and journalist Stuart Hodge, who claimed in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that the 26-year-old’s links with a move to Southampton in the January transfer window will not come as a shock to those at Parkhead, as the Japan international has been something of a revelation since joining the Bhoys this summer.
Speaking about whether the interest in the striker is surprising, Hodge said: “Absolutely not. Look at his productivity since he came to Scotland. The age he is as well is a good age. Japanese players tend to mature a bit later in their careers.
“Normally you would say, for a Premier League player, by the time they hit 23 you’ve got a good idea of the level of player they’re going to be. In Japan, it can sometimes happen a bit later because of various things.”
Hodge is correct to point out Kyogo’s impressive productivity since his arrival at Parkhead, as the forward has arguably been one of Postecoglou’s stand out players in the current campaign.
Indeed, over his nine Scottish Premiership fixtures so far this season, the £1.8m-rated man has scored five goals, registered two assists and created one big chance for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.8 shots and making one key pass per game.
These returns have seen the player Postecoglou dubbed a “positive character” average a SofaScore match rating of 7.00, ranking him as Celtic’s joint 14th-best performer in the top flight of Scottish football.
The Japan striker has also bagged three goals over four Europa League qualifying fixtures, one goal over two Europa League proper matches and one goal in one Scottish League Cup appearance – taking his total haul of goals to 10 in 16 games played for the club.
As such, while the interest in Kyogo’s services should come as no surprise to the Parkhead faithful, if the Hoops were to cash in on the 26-year-old this winter, it would undoubtedly be a decision that would leave fans fuming – as the forward clearly has the ability to play a major role in Celtic’s bid to reclaim their Premiership crown come next May.