Celtic sign Japan forward Furuhashi

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic announced on Friday the signing of Japan forward and J1-League top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe on a four-year contract.

Furuhashi, who played alongside Kobe captain Andres Iniesta in Japan, is the Hoops’ fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide from Sheffield Wednesday and Liel Abada from Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Furuhashi, who has 14 goals in 20 league games this season, will arrive in Glasgow subject to international clearance.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, who himself recently arrived in Scotland from a spell in Japan with Yokohama F. Marinos, said he was well aware of the qualities Furuhashi would bring.

“We are delighted to bring Kyogo Furuhashi to Celtic. He is a player of real quality and clearly someone I know well,” said the former Australia coach.

“I think he will add something special to our squad and I am sure the way he plays will excite our supporters. We look forward to welcoming him to Celtic.”

Furuhashi, who has scored three times in six appearances for Japan, helped to win Vissel Kobe’s only two trophies in their history.

He was part of the side that lifted the Emperor’s Cup in 2020 after a 2-0 victory over Kashima Antlers, while he was also involved in the subsequent Japanese Super Cup triumph.

On that occasion the J1-League champions Marinos were managed by Postecoglou, with Furuhashi scoring in an entertaining 3-3 draw before Vissel Kobe got their hands on the trophy after winning a penalty shoot-out.

And Furuhashi caught the eye of Iniesta during his time in Japan.

“He is a player that can easily make the jump to play in Europe,” said the former Barcelona midfielder.

“Right now he is the top scorer of the J1-League. He is a player that has a lot of qualities and I am sure he can do well there in Europe.”

Celtic’s season gets underway on Tuesday when they host Danish side Midtjylland in a Champions League qualifier.

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