Celtic could be without star summer signing Kyogo Furuhashi for around seven matches after the forward sustained an injury representing Japan, according to The Scottish Sun.
Furuhashi has been an instant hit in Glasgow since the Hoops paid Vissel Kobe £4.5m for the 26-year-old. He has struck seven goals in nine appearances, including a hat-trick against Dundee, and provided one assist across all competitions.
But Ange Postecoglou faces being without Furuhashi for Celtic’s next seven fixtures from Saturday’s meeting with Ross County at Parkhead. The winger went down unchallenged while earning his eight-cap for Japan during a World Cup qualifier with China on Tuesday.
Furuhashi was forced off through injury early into the second-half of Japan’s 1-0 win to move third in Group B. The Samurai Blue lost their opening qualifier against Oman earlier this month, to trail Australia and Saudi Arabia by three-points.
Celtic faced an anxious wait for Furuhashi to return to Glasgow to assess his injury and the club do not believe it is a long-term issue. However, sources in Japan expect the Ikoma, Nara native will miss their October international fixtures in four-weeks’ time.
That would see Postecoglou tackle Premiership ties with Ross County, Livingston, Dundee United and Aberdeen without Furuhashi. He would also miss the start of the Hoops’ Europa League Group Stage campaign against Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen. Along with the League Cup quarter-final encounter with Raith Rovers over the next month.
Japan will be hoping Furuhashi recovers from injury in time for the Celtic star to feature in their next set of World Cup qualifiers. Hajime Moriyasu’s side will face Saudi Arabia and Australia on October 7 and 12 looking to end their 100% starts.
Do Celtic have a plan to cope with Furuhashi injury?
Postecoglou is likely already planning how Celtic will cope after losing Furuhashi through injury ahead of hosting Ross County. The Australian is expected to turn to fellow summer signing Giorgios Giakoumakis to lead the Hoops’ attack at Parkhead on Saturday.
The Greek forward moved to Glasgow in a last-ditch £2.5m deal on Deadline Day last week. He arrived from VVV-Venlo after scoring 29 goals in 33 games across his one season at De Koel last term. Postecoglou may now hand the 26-year-old an instant debut this weekend.
Regardless, losing Furuhashi through injury – potentially for a month entailing seven games – will be a blow for Postecoglou and Celtic. The Hoops boss has already been full of praise for his summer signing’s strong start. Noting after his Dundee treble, via the Irish Times:
“It’s quite incredible, and he could have probably had a couple more as well. I think people see what I’ve seen in him from the past three or four years. It’s not just his goals, it’s his movement and just his willingness to work. He closed down players, and I think if anything that buys you more into the kind of person he is, and I think the fans will appreciate that.”