Sky Sports pundit Kevin Phillips is adamant that Celtic have suffered a “massive blow” following the injury sustained by Kyogo Furuhashi on international duty with Japan.
The Lowdown: Furuhashi has made a stellar start to his Parkhead career
Making a superb start to life at Parkhead, the 26-year-old has swiftly become a key player for the Hoops, registering eight goal contributions in nine appearances with seven goals and one assist [Transfermarkt].
However, he now looks set to be sidelined for up to a month with a knee injury following an international clash against China, as confirmed by Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou [BBC].
Will Furuhashi be a massive miss for Celtic?
The Latest: Phillips bemoans ‘awful’ injury sustained by Furuhashi
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Football Insider, Phillips bemoaned the Japanese international’s injury, stating: “It’s not ideal for anyone”.
He then added: “That’s the risk when you have international players. It’s a massive blow but you plan for things like this.
“It’s an opportunity for someone to come in and perform and they do have a new striker there.
“I hate to say it but it’s always an opportunity, it’s awful for him, the injured player, but it’s true.
“He’s been excellent for them and I’m sure he’ll be back in the side once he’s fit”.
The Verdict: Postecoglou will hope Furuhashi returns soon
After losing one of their most influential players in an important block of fixtures as the Europa League group stage gets underway, Phillips rightly believes that the news will come as a massive source of frustration to Furuhashi and everyone at Celtic.
However, the former England striker also correctly states that there will be opportunities for those on the fringes to step into the void, something that Swiss striker Albian Ajeti has tapped into following his brace against Ross County last weekend [BBC].
Nevertheless, Furuhashi has been an hugely potent threat in his time at Parkhead so far, scoring once every 79 minutes [Footy Stats].
He has also wowed supporters with his pressing ability, anticipation and his pinpoint utilisation of the ball. Looking ahead, Ange Postecoglou will hope that his summer signing will be back to firing on all cylinders as soon as possible.
In other news, Kieran Devlin has given an update on the fitness of another Celtic summer signing.
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