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What John Hartson remarked about Mikey Johnston at Lazio, barely five minutes after he replaced for Celtic



Not many matters went right for Celtic against Lazio, there weren’t many positives to shout about for Brendan Rodgers.

But one nice was Mikey Johnston, who didn’t start the game, but was once brought on just after the hour mark in Rome.

Within his first few touches, he used to be strolling at Lazio’s defence, into the penalty vicinity and he nearly created a large goalscoring chance for Celtic, which left John Hartson impressed, as he told TNT Sports (28/11/23 at 19:05 pm).

The 24-year-old isn’t a everyday starter for Brendan Rodgers, however with accidents around the shop, he will be hoping to earn more minutes now.

Either way, after simply 5 minutes, John Hartson used to be loving what he was once seeing from the Republic of Ireland international.

Mikey Johnston v Lazio

“Mikey Johnston has obtained one element on his thinking when he has come on here,” stated Hartson. “And that’s to run at the opposition and motive problems.

“He has sincerely accomplished that in the 4 or five minutes he has been on the pitch.”

Mikey Johnston to begin v St Johnstone?

The returning James Forrest, who started out out on the left, and summer time signing, Hyunjun Yang, began out large for Celtic last night.

The latter tried to make an affect ultimate night, but just couldn’t get going. His overall performance in opposition to Motherwell ultimate time out was a good deal poorer.

That’s why it will be interesting to see if Rodgers decides to hand Johnston a start at the weekend due to the fact he deserves it.

Celtic are the target of a savage TV slapdown as a broadcaster goes two-footed, leaving Lennon, Hargreaves, and fans stunned

Reshmin Chowdhury dropped a brutal stats bomb on the Scottish champions after defeat to Lazio.

TNT Sports presenter Reshmin Chowdhury left Celtic fans stunned after she set about the struggling Scottish giants after they crashed out of the Champions League.

Brendan Rodgers saw his hopes of persevering with the Hoops European adventure come to a surprising halt in opposition to Lazio. Ciro Immobile’s late double potential the Serie A aspect have one foot in the knockout round whilst even a Europa League spot is out of reach for the Scottish Premiership side – who extended their depressing winless run in European competitions to 15 video games as they bowed out of the elite competition.

And in the post-match debrief with former Celtic boss Neil Lennon and Owen Hargreaves, Chowdhury riffed off some of the painful stats for the Hoops that have left them rock backside of Group E with one sport left to play. After the full-time whistle sounded, she said: “Celtic idea have managed simply one factor in five games. Bottom of the group with a aim difference of minus eleven, I suggest it honestly is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

“I’ve got Neil Lennon and Owen Hargreaves alongside me. I mean Neil as a Celtic man – you nevertheless call them we – I imply how devastating is it to go out in this manner?”

Lennon responded: “Yeah, the game used to be there for the taking. I even though Lazio have been very passive and the recreation was once there for Celtic, and by some means Celtic have managed to lose another massive game. It’s bitterly disappointing. That was once a recreation they had to win however as soon as Immobile receives the first intention the tie is over. It’s disappointing because they are better than that.”

Chowdhury endured to pile the misery on Celtic stating: “They are better than that but in Europe it’s proving now not to be the case. They are now the first British aspect to have now not won in 15 consecutive video games in Europe. I mean’ it is a devastating record, and for Brendan Rodgers as well.”

Former Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder Hargreaves this time responded: “The numbers are bitterly disappointing. Over the years they have had some aggressive groups in Europe however now it doesn’t feel like they are competitive enough. They are making an attempt to play this way, but if you cannot compete then it makes it without a doubt difficult. They are great in the league – however that is not a great group (Lazio) and they let them off the hook.”

After discussing Lazio’s performance, Chowdhury caught the boot in on Celtic again. She added: “Looking at the better picture going forward it’s every other season where they are now not in the knockout levels and they are now not going to be in the Europa League either. It’s a damning indictment of Scottish soccer and where it is at at the moment…”

Hargreaves and Lennon seemed awkward before the former England cap replied: “…ish”. Chowdhury asked: “Or is it?”

Hargreaves went on: “If you appear at Rangers a couple of years ago they went on a fantastic run. If you get it proper you can have success but you have to get momentum. I assume Brendan will look returned and see they have made too many mistakes. It’s a massive gaining knowledge of curve. I suppose they performed very well in some of these games, however one factor from 5 games is no longer appropriate enough.”

Lennon added: “Last season they acquired two points so you are questioning use that trip for this season, but if something it is now not going forward. It’s type of stalled if not going backwards. It is a work in progress.”

The Celtic fans were speedy to take to social media to respond to the misery being piled on. One said: “Wow this TNT Sports presenter is virtually sticking the knife in.” Another added: “We are being ripped apart here. Savage!” One punter was once left in disbelief asking his fellow Parkhead supporters: “Did you hear the country of the TNT presenter?”

A fellow Scottish soccer fan corrected the presenter adding: “Presenter saying it’s a ‘damning indictment of Scottish football’. It’s a damning indictment of Celtic. Rangers have been in a European closing 2 years ago. Aberdeen have been robbed by VAR twice in the Conference and that is essentially knocked them out.”

Interest in Mathias Kvistgaarden has increased following Celtic’s reports

Celtic are set to face opposition to signal Mathias Kvistgaarden in January, with clubs across Europe reportedly also fascinated in the Danish forward.

Football Scotland report that clubs in England, Germany, and France are all searching to sign Kvistgaarden in January.

Celtic have been currently linked with a return for the ahead in the upcoming transfer window after failing to meet their valuation during the summer time months.

Celtic reportedly bid £4 million in the summer season for Kvistgaarden, but Brondby are stated to be searching for a price of around £7.5 million.

Celtic are now set to return with an accelerated bid, but whether the Hoops are inclined to pay £7.5 million for Kvistgaarden stays to be seen.

Kvistgaarden preceding fuelled switch speculation over a go to Celtic, after revealing he is considering an exit from Brondby.

The Danish striker has had a amazing season in his homeland, scoring 5 goals and offering six assists in 16 Superliga video games this season. He additionally supplied an help for Nicolai Vallys on Saturday for Brondby’s opener in a 3-3 draw with Lyngby.

Celtic may want to gain from a striker with Kvistgaarden’s link-up play

Kvistgaarden is not solely a goal-scorer but also a innovative striker who is just as capable of scoring goals as he is at setting up teammates.

At instances this season, both Kyogo Furuhashi and Hyeongyu Oh have failed to score, leaving Celtic to show up to lack a innovative risk upfront. This used to be evident in 0-0 draws towards St Johnstone and Hibernian, as nicely as a 1-1 draw on Saturday with Motherwell, with Celtic’s solely purpose coming from a penalty.

Kvistgaarden has persistently proven his capability to furnish assists for Brondby. This would add another dimension to Celtic’s attack, as Kvistgaarden is now not a traditional striker completely centered on scoring goals; he is just as adept at offering assists.

When unable to score, each Kyogo and Oh have seemed withdrawn from games. A striker like Kvistgaarden ought to are looking for to link up extra with teammates, potentially forcing opposition defenders out of function and developing more possibilities a trouble obvious against Motherwell on Saturday.

Kvistgaarden appears to be an exciting transfer target for Celtic, presenting a exceptional dimension upfront for the Hoops in contrast to what they already possess with Kyogo and Oh.

Chris Sutton reignites Todd Cantwell dispute with ‘dive’ jibe at under-fire Rangers star

Cantwell was amongst the speakme points after going down under strain from Aberdeen famous person Ryan Duncan.

Celtic hero Chris Sutton has taken any other pop at Todd Cantwell after the Rangers playmaker was once accessed of diving in opposition to Aberdeen.

Cantwell and the Hoops legend have been trading swipes again and forth for months – with tensions escalating between the pair after the Rangers star branded the Celtic fan preferred an “attention seeker” and claimed that Sutton used to be a fan of his whilst he used to be at Norwich City earlier than performing a u-turn when he made the go to Ibrox. However, the pundit was having none of it and slammed Cantwell for his “bang average” career.

Since then tensions seemed to have eased – but Sutton couldn’t resist a tongue-in-cheek pot shot at Cantwell following a flashpoint in the 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw. The midfielder escaped on-field punishment during the conflict when went down while being tracked via Dons’ defender Ryan Duncan in the first half of of the conflict – but has been criticised via pundits and former referees.

Sharing a clip of the incident, Sutton posted to X: “This isn’t a dive…”. But instead than backing the Light Blues big name it was a clear swipe as he posted a laughing emoji with the comment.

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Brendan Rodgers backs the Celtic board’s decision to ban the Green Brigade and insists that ideals be upheld

The Hoops boss wishes to see the state of affairs resolved however thinks the board are in the right

Brendan Rodgers would like to see the Green Brigade state of affairs resolved quickly but has backed the Celtic board’s sturdy stance on it.

The ultras team have acquired a blanket ban on all Hoops domestic and away matches after club chiefs lost staying power with their unacceptable behaviour at matches. There was a fall-out over the displaying of Palestine flags with the board eager no longer to see their fits used as a political vehicle.

That wasn’t the purpose for the ban but it did assist put similarly stress on an already hard relationship. The Green Brigade have demanded a meeting with CEO Michael Nicholson and have threated a “day of action” at tomorrow’s Premiership assembly with Motherwell.

Rodgers has so a long way kept his suggestions on the scenario however has now spoken – and while he would like to see it all sorted out, he feels the board are proper to clamp down.

The Northern Irishman said: “It’s all about values. It’s the greater picture, the values of this club, which are about respect, integrity and the whole lot else. That far outreaches some thing else, and if these values are compromised in any way, then we the club will appear at that.

“If humans are deemed to have misbehaved, you can’t go along and receive that just due to the fact it makes the ecosystem better.

“We all live to sure values, and I hope we can discover a solution due to the fact the fans have created a definitely excellent atmosphere.

“My private view is it’s now not a political arena. Football is football, you come to aid the team, and revel in the group playing. Especially when we play like we did towards Aberdeen.

“Hopefully we can get a resolution, but meantime, we will remain focused. The narrative can every now and then be built round us not being together. It’s not the case.

“We’re in a notable region as a club and as a team.”

‘He will leave’: Former Celtic star believes he will depart the club in 2024

Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson fears that this will be Matt O’Riley’s last season at the Scottish Premiership giants with the Denmark global going from energy to energy beneath Brendan Rodgers.

Celtic rejected an ambitious £10 million bid from Leeds United at the end of the summer season (The Sun). And, in truth, you’d be fortunate to get even Matt O’Riley’s weaker proper leg for that these days.

Since Leeds’ offer came and went, the former Fulham teenager has emerge as a full worldwide with Denmark, has brought desires to his game, and is making a splash on the Champions League stage too with a ‘beautiful’ assist against Spanish giants Atletico Madrid the apparent standout.

Following a season of such progress, Wilson fears that O’Riley is sure to emerge as the modern day in a sequence of big-money Celtic departures.

Is Matt O’Riley’s time at Celtic coming to an end?

“I suppose there is a precise hazard that he will go,” Wilson, a three-time Scottish Premiership champion between 2006 and 2008, tells the Daily Record.

“I say that as Celtic knocked lower back a big bid this summer. £10 million. Now, he’s a full international. And, on the lower back of the six months he’s had from summer season to now, you see him getting better.

“I simply assume anyone will recognise that. I assume people will already have recognized that. It will take a large bid and I assume it will be a lot of money. But my worry is Matt O’Riley won’t be at Celtic at the begin of next season.”

Interest from Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham

At £1.5 million from third-tier MK Dons, O’Riley is one of Celtic’s great pound-for-pound signings in the cutting-edge era. And that is saying something given that Moussa Dembele, Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk all handed through Parkhead.

The elegant, left-footed playmaker has six desires and seven assists already this term. A ‘goal contribution’ each and every 1.3 video games under Rodgers.

Clubs the dimension of Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle have all been linked with O’Riley at quite a number points. According to The Sun, there is a threat that the London-born Dane could eventually be reunited with former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham Hotspur too.

Disaster for the former £5 million Celtic player, only 37 minutes have passed since the Hoops departed

When Albian Ajeti touched down in Turkey on the final day of the summer time transfer window, the former Celtic striker would have strolled off the aircraft with a renewed feel of optimism and a ravenous urge for food for a fresh start.

It had been a lengthy time, after all, since Albian Ajeti was banging in the goals at Basel. The striker flopped at West Ham United and didn’t precisely fare much better at Celtic either, while a loan spell at Sturm Graz proved in a similar way underwhelming.

Celtic recouped simply £500,000 worth of their £5 million investment when Ajeti put pen to paper with Turkish Super Lig outfit Gazientep at the begin of September (Sky Sports). It is testament to how things have gone for the luckless striker in Turkey, however, that Celtic show up to have got the higher of that late-summer deal as matters stand.

Albian Ajeti struggling after Celtic exit

Ajeti has played solely 37 of a plausible 680 minutes so far at Gazientep. A intention on his debut in opposition to Istanbulspor is as suitable as things have gotten so far. That early optimism hastily changed by using a familiar, déjà vu inducing sense of frustration.

Ajeti has overlooked Gazientep’s closing 4 video games with a muscle tear. The injury curse which wrecked his hopes of a everlasting move to Sturm Graz following him to the furthest reaches of Europe.

Injured again

“I had a wonderful, superb time,” Ajeti told Laola1 a few weeks ago, a bittersweet tang to his tone. “I sincerely enjoyed it, I met first-rate human beings and was once capable to work with amazing human beings – from the teaching team to the employees, the board, to the teammates and fans.

“It was once fun.

“The solely component that wasn’t as fun have been the injuries I stored having,” he adds with a sigh. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep away from them.”

Try as he might, Ajeti simply cannot get away the health issues which continue to canine his once-promising career.

John Hartson plays the Celtic blame game in the Green Brigade defense after the AGM lightning rod sparks ‘singled out’ dread

The Welshman has pointed the finger at other clubs amid fears the Hoops are being handled unfairly.

Celtic hero John Hartson has set up a defence for the Green Brigade following the club’s AGM.

The Celtic ultras are at loggerheads with Parkhead chiefs after the membership introduced that every body who belonged to the team – round 2 hundred human beings – had their season tickets suspended for the foreseeable future. They stated it was due to an “increasingly serious escalation in unacceptable behaviours and non-compliance with applicable regulations.”

Fingers have been pointed at the controversial fan group for the club racking up several UEFA sanctions over the years – but it remained a hot subject matter at the AGM with any point out of the Green Brigade being met with a combine of cheering and booing from the gathered crowd. But Celtic hero Hartson fears that both the club and supporters have been “singled out” with supporters of other side being branded “no angels.”

He instructed Go Radio: “It looks like in a way that they are singling Celtic and the Green Brigade out. Yes, they have acquired their faults.

“Yes, they have price Celtic a lot of money over the years in fines but additionally you have to appear at different golf equipment – and I hope they are – due to the fact all the golf equipment will have exact eggs and awful eggs. In phrases of what they sing, how they act; I played in Scotland for 5 years and I have been at away grounds and heard what they say and what they are chanting.

“I simply hope that Celtic are no longer the only membership being regarded at. I hope it is looked at across the board as other golf equipment fans are no angels either.”

Jim Goodwin admits to making the ‘worst error’ at Celtic before leaving.

Jim Goodwin has published his “biggest mistake” at Celtic as a participant came when he provided to play right-back on his debut.

The Dundee United boss made his solely appearance for Celtic beneath Kenny Dalglish back in 2000.

Goodwin – who before managed Aberdeen, St Mirren and Alloa – has revealed he supplied to fill in at full-back on his debut as he allowed John Kennedy to play in central defence.

The League Cup winner used to be in line to play centrally himself in the healthy in opposition to Dundee United however offered to change function with Kennedy to help his team-mate.

However, Goodwin reckons his strive to exhibit a “good attitude” came again to “bite him on the a***” as Kennedy went on to play in addition suits for Celtic and transition into a teaching function at the club following his playing career.

Discussing his debut on Open Goal, Goodwin commented: “When John Barnes got the sack then Kenny Dalglish and Tommy [Burns] had taken over simply on a caretaker role.

“And listen, they had been giving out debuts like packets of crisps at that time.

“Guys like myself and one or two others had been given that danger in the ultimate sport of the season.”

And on his role change provide that backfired, Goodwin explained: “I started out the sport and one of the mistakes I made in the build-up to that game that I haven’t certainly spoke about a outstanding deal however we were shaping up and John Kennedy was once supposed to play right back.

“I do not understand if he will have in mind it but he was once like a duck out of water taking part in at proper lower back and I used to be taking part in at proper centre-half which used to be my position coming via the system.

“And I had offered to play right returned rather because Kendo didn’t favor to do it and I thought, ‘I don’t idea taking part in there’.

“That was probable my biggest mistake. He was once gorgeous at centre-half and I was once bang average at centre-half! I went off with cramp after about seventy five minutes because I was walking up and down the line and I wasn’t used to doing that!”

The Dundee United boss joked: “Listen, I would by no means have been the Celtic centre-half for 20 years! I said to Tommy, I said, ‘If he would not desire to play there I don’t idea taking part in there’.

“I thinking I used to be doing a exact issue and displaying a properly mindset to the manager however it got here again to chew me on the a*** due to the fact Kendo went on to play a hell of a lot of games at centre-half!”

‘Bad, bad man,’ The National media react to the current international performance of the 25-year-old Celtic player

Celtic’s players are starting to have a fantastic international week as the fixtures pile up.

Callum McGregor was crucial in Scotland’s 2-2 draw with Georgia on Thursday night, and TBR Celtic reported on Luis Palma’s 2-0 win against Mexico.

Cameron Carter-Vickers is the next in line. The 25-year-old Celtic defender started for the USMT in their 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago, and if the ratings from the US media are any indication, the Celtic defender has also impressed.

Cameron Carter-Vickers is a great ambassador for Celtic in America.

The’man mountain’ of a defender looked great as he helped the USA preserve a clean sheet, and it appears that the Celtic stopper has wowed the media.

Goal: (7/10) Provided physical presence in the few instances that T&T did go forward, which were few and far between.

ESPN’s review: “7 — Few complaints about the central defender that worked well with Tim Ream while providing crucial defensive interventions.”

“7” MLS Soccer Carter-Vickers, who started alongside Ream, had nothing to complain about as he and the defense recorded a clean sheet.”

Cameron Carter-Vickers: 8 — NBC Sports The Celtics’ running back is a bad, bad man. At the age of 25, he is clearly approaching his prime.”

Carter-Vickers is an important first-team member for Celtic.

Celtic’s £6 million signing from Tottenham Hotspur has been outstanding thus far this season. With the exception of his gaffe against Lazio, the US defender has been dominant in the Hoops backline.

Carter-Vickers, who has formed a combination with the excellent Liam Scales, seems just as strong this season as he did the previous two seasons with Carl Starfelt, averaging a 7.3 in the Scottish Premiership according to football ratings site SofaScore.

He has previously impressed at the international level. His return to US play in October had been widely anticipated, with the media claiming that he would bring’stability’ to what seems to be a frail backline.

Carter-Vickers’ next match is a return trip to Trinidad on November 21st, where Celtic fans will be praying for another strong performance and an injury-free CCV.

Another Celtic star qualifies for EURO 2024, which might be significant for the Bhoys’ form

After Scotland’s authentic qualification for next year’s European Championships booked a area for Callum McGregor and the rest of the Celtic contingent in the Scottish squad, every other Bhoys player may want to be heading to the principal tournament.

Matt O’Riley was on the bench for Denmark as they beat Slovenia 2-1 on Friday night, confirming their spot at the finals in Germany next summer.

O’Riley was a late addition to the Danish squad after missing out on the initial announcement but has now been protected in manager Kasper Hjulmand’s group in two consecutive global windows, giving the midfielder real hope of making a similarly push into his plans.

There’s even a threat he makes his debut for the country over the coming days, with Denmark taking part in away to Northern Ireland in a match that can now be used for experimentation with qualification secured.

Celtic should benefit from brought O’Riley motivation

O’Riley has already been in great shape for Celtic this season. He’s scored six dreams and assisted seven instances when you consider that Brendan Rodgers arrived at the club, marking him out as one of the Bhoys’ most superb performers this season.

High-profile pundits such as Chris Sutton are calling him the pleasant participant in Scotland right now. Meanwhile, journalist Fabrizio Romano reckons he’s now well worth over £25m in the transfer market.

Now, with the introduced motivation of potentially booking a ticket to his first-ever global tournament, we could see even more from O’Riley over the coming weeks and months.

It would be outstanding to see Hjulmand provide O’Riley a debut in Belfast on Monday night and mild a fire below the midfielder to prove himself in addition at membership level.

A hungry and ruthless O’Riley can be a terror for opposition defences at domestic and abroad. We could well see the quality of him from this factor onwards and that’s an thrilling thought.

Raging Rangers fan pulls pyro panic button over ‘fine’ as Celtic hero erupts into spiky on air ‘killjoys’ defence

Rangers followers display for the duration of the go to to Dens Park has sparked issues internal the SPFL.

Irked Mark Wilson has insisted that the SPFL are not being “killjoys” with the aid of searching to cast off pyrotechnics from the stands.

It came as the former Celtic defender fielded issues that the Rangers will be hit with an SPFL sanction following the controversial display in the stands against Dundee. The players were ordered to go away the pitch through ref Kevin Clancy just two minutes into the Scottish Premiership when a surprising show of pyro from the Rangers fans compelled a fire alarm to go off.

Police Scotland and the Scottish Government have expressed issues over the event and Dundee have slammed the moves of the away support. This sparked problem from Clyde 1 Superscoreboard caller Billy as he hit out at the pyro declaring: “As a Rangers fan I was disgusted with the aid of it. All the delays, and I know there is going to be a fine coming for Rangers.”

Host Gordon Duncan chimed in: “I’m definitely now not positive there will be. The SPFL handle these matters a bit otherwise to UEFA.”

That sparked a heated rant from former Hoops defender, stating: ‘There is a proper safety situation here for supporters. Never thought the players, it is horrific sufficient when you are disrupting them and your focal point on getting a fantastic outcome, however what about the followers that don’t have flares?

“Does anybody ever assume about them being surrounded through the ones who managed to light these things up? There is a true protection problem – it is not due to the fact the SFA and SPFL choose to be killjoys. It’s due to the fact the protection officers don’t think there is a secure way of conducting it.”

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly stand with pyro during a cinch Premiership match between Dundee FC and Rangers at The Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park, on November 01, 2023, in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)
Fans light up the Bob Shankly stand with pyro during the cinch Premiership match between Dundee and Rangers at The Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park on Wednesday night

Fans mild up the Bob Shankly stand with pyro at some stage in the cinch Premiership healthy between Dundee and Rangers at The Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park on Wednesday night

Duncan then put it to Wilson that they might also need to come up with a protected way of allowing fans to use the general pyro: “How do you do that with some thing that incorporates heat? I’m no longer an expert.

“In my previous position I did some work with Police Scotland and they have enlightened me to some of the issues. I get that it appears colourful – however when it is to the detriment of your own fans definitely there has received to be some common sense. Are they in England? The largest league in the world? Do we need them?”

Record Sport understands that any sanctions for Rangers show up not likely as golf equipment have previously now not been punished if in a position to show they had taken reasonable precautions.

Who exactly is Kanji Okunuki? Celtic’s scouting subject is in the spotlight after Hearts completed summer research on Japanese sensation

Brendan Rodgers wishes reinforcements in January and the champions have reportedly been observing the Nurnberg attacker.

It should come as no shock that Celtic have been linked with any other Japanese talent.

The Hoops have reportedly been scouting Kanji Okunuki “intensively” over the final few weeks after playing massive success plundering the Japanese participant market below Ange Postecoglou. Kyogo is the primary man whilst compatriots Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda are key participants of the squad, with Brendan Rodgers persevering with to rely heavily on them notwithstanding a change in style when you consider that the Aussie’s departure. Tomoki Iwata stays on the fringes, however scored his first intention for the membership towards Hearts remaining month and looks like he has something to offer.

Yuki Kobayashi looks like he should be on his way out, failing to be quoted even all through a central defensive harm crisis, solely named on the bench once this season. Yosuke ideguchi has grow to be something of a forgotten man out on loan at Avispa Fukuoka again in Japan, although nonetheless has over two years left to run on his Celtic contract.

Okunuki ought to be the cutting-edge Japanese import to swell the ranks. But who is he and what would he add? Record Sport takes a nearer look.

Who is Kanji Okunuki?

The 24-year-old was once born in Saitama and advanced thru the youth ranks with local membership Omiya Ardija earlier than graduating to the pinnacle team in January 2018. 14 goals in almost 100 appearances caught the interest of Gornik Zabrze of Poland. He joined the Ekstraklasa membership on a season-long mortgage in August 2022, which blanketed an choice to make the deal permanent.

However, that wasn’t taken up and Okunuki joined Nurnberg ultimate summer. He’s scored four goals in 15 appearances for the Bundesliga two outfit and received his first call up to the Japan squad last month, however is yet to make his debut for the Samurai Blue.

What type of player is he?

Okunuki is right footed but performs on the left. With Liel Abada out injured and Yang set to join Oh in the South Korea squad for the Asian Cup, that ought to come in handy. He can also operate in the No 10 position and as a 2d striker, even though it is a No. 9 Brendan Rodgers virtually wants with Kyogo additionally set to be away with his country.

With nearly four possession recoveries in the opposition’s 1/2 per game, Okunuki would show up to suit Celtic’s urgent style, even if it’s no longer as extreme as it was once under Ange. He has two assists this season, though that quantity would be expected to go up playing in a crew like eltic’s, which dominates most video games and create extra chances.

Haven’t we heard his name before?

Yes, he was closely linked with Hearts last summer time before making the move to Germany. The Jambos had been in the market for a 2d striker or attacking midfielder and Okunuki healthy the invoice after Yutaro Oda impressed after an preliminary settling in period. However, a quoted price of £400,000 made him an luxurious proposition for the Tynecastle club and after an initial enquiry, there was no concrete approach, which allowed Nurnberg to get their man.

That kind of charge would not have been an difficulty for Celtic. However, Nurnberg’s willingness to let him depart and what kind of rate they would be looking for remains to be seen.

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