Celtic boss open to more Japanese signings like Furuhashi

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is ready to return to Japan following Kyogo Furuhashi’s successful start to life with the Scottish giants.

The new Hoops boss knows the J-League well, having been the head coach of Yokohama Marinos, and he moved quickly to sign Furuhashi, with the Japan striker now having scored six goals in his first five starts for Celtic. 

“I have been looking at it very closely,” Postecoglou said Friday. “I know the Japanese market very well.

“It’s a tricky time because traditionally they are still mid-season,” the Australian added. “There’s a lot of players I would love to have a look at closely and bring over but I know it would be almost impossible to get them out because clubs are still playing for the league or cup or (AFC) Champions League competitions. So they are very reluctant to let them go mid-season.

“Traditionally it’s always been easier to get them out in our winter break, which is their end of season.”

The former Australia manager insisted J-League footballers were too often unappreciated.

“There’s a lot of talent there that people haven’t realised,” he said. “It’s not to say they are all going to be of Kyogo’s level because I was super confident about him. 

“He has dominated that league for the last three or four years. I was surprised he hadn’t left earlier to be honest, we were kind of lucky he stuck around for a bit.

“But there is definitely more talent there and it is definitely a market we are looking at closely.”

Celtic, fresh from their midweek Europa League win over AZ Alkmaar, face St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday ahead of next week’s second leg in the Netherlands and a trip to arch Glasgow rivals Rangers, the reigning Scottish champions.

“I would be very surprised if anyone is taking anything for granted,” said Postecoglou.

“The world, and the football world in particular, changes pretty quickly and once you take something for granted you will get brought back to earth.

“I haven’t sensed that at all with this group. The key thing for us is that they are enjoying their football, they are getting their rewards, and for the most part none of them want to miss out.”

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