Dan Orlowitz on Japanese timescale and likely Celtic call ups

With Kyogo Furuhashi yet to make an appearance at training and not being included in a bounce game against St Mirren this week, then it looks like there is little to no chance of the 16-goal striker making the starting line-up at least for the first game back after the winter break against Hibs on Monday night.

And with a Japanese call up for the national team at the back of everyone’s thoughts, you’d guess that would also become doubtful if the player hasn’t recovered enough to play for his club side.

Dan Orlowitz of course seems to be the journalist on the receiving ends of Celtic fans anxiety – although I think secretly, he loves it – when it comes to what to expect from Celtic’s new players, but he’s also been kind enough to keep everyone up to date on the timeline for those international call ups and who may or may not get the call. And it’s a mixed bag of news for Celtic supporters.

19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates towards the fans with the trophy

It appears the squad won’t be announced until a week tomorrow and even if Kyogo doesn’t get the call it simply improves the chances of Daizen Maeda, Oh the joys!

‘In news that absolutely nobody has asked me about 100 times over the last week, Japan’s squad for its upcoming WCQs against Saudi Arabia and China will be announced on the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 22

If Kyogo is fit he dead-on makes the squad, no question about it. If he’s *not*, Maeda’s chances improve. Reo’s chances better than 0% but not very high. And no chance at all for an Ideguchi call-up.’

One crumb of comfort then in all of this is, despite it being an excruciating wait to see if Kyogo, or indeed Daizen Maeda are called up for Japan’s World Cup qualifiers, it appears unlikely it will be both, meaning at least Celtic should have a quality striker to call on for some rather important encounters ahead.

Add to that Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi’s chances appear slim on a call up, at least from Dan’s knowledge of the Japanese squad, then even with the loss of one striker and with a likely call up for Tom Rogic by Australia we do at least appear to have some much-needed depth to cushion the blow in both positions.

Dan Orlowitz is of course in no position to say anything for certain, but at least we have the hope he offers that Celtic may not be as impacted as badly as first thought, yet the element of doubt remains and with the squad not announced until 22 January it will be a nervy wait ahead.

Niall J

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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parhead's gates.

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