Kyogo Furuhashi labelled most ‘dangerous Japanese player’ in world after Celtic star earns Haaland comparison

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The Hoops frontman and current Premiership top scorer has been earning rave reviews this season.

Shinji Okazaki reckons Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi is the most dangerous Japanese player in the world on current form - claiming it takes two players to mark him.

The 28-year-old Hoops talisman drew a rare blank in front of goal as Celtic were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Motherwell on Saturday, but he remains the Premiership’s top scorer with 23 league goals so far this season.

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Despite his impressive tally, Furuhashi remains out of the Japan national team picture with head coach Hajime Moriyasu publicly questioning the quality on display in the Scottish top-flight after ignoring the ex-Vissel Kobe star for both the World Cup last year and two friendly matches last month.

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi has been compared to Erling Haaland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi has been compared to Erling Haaland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi has been compared to Erling Haaland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

However, former Leicester City striker Okazaki - who netted 50 international goals in 119 appearances for Japan - and is still playing at the age of 37 in Belgium believes Furuhashi is his country’s most prolific attacking option at present.

He admitted: “Kyogo Furuhashi has set the standard for Japanese goalscorers and what I like about him is not just the amount of goals he scores, it’s his movement. He moves into places that he probably shouldn’t be in and are unrelated to the goal, but that means the opposition isn’t following him.

“And more often than not, he has a knack for finding a place where the ball drops to him and he scores. I’ve noticed too that when he does go into dangerous positions, some teams are using two players to mark him because his movement is so good. He’s the best Japanese player right now in what he does.”

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It follows comments made by Rangers legend Ally McCoist who compared Furuhashi’s attributes to Manchester City star Erling Haaland during a televised Old Firm debate on The Overlap show with ex-Celtic frontman Chris Sutton.

He stated: “Celtic have somebody right now who is on fire. The wee fella’s on fire. He plays on the shoulder, he’s only interested in finished. He’s the same as Haaland in that respect that he doesn’t really want to get involved in the game.

“Completely different player, I get that, but they’ll get involved, they’ll link up a little bit but he just wants to position himself for a finish, because that’s his strength and he’s very, very good at it. I’m paying him all sorts of compliments here. He’s the best finisher at this moment in time in the country.”

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