Kyogo’s new contract extension eases transfer fears, as star praises ‘Brilliant’ Brendan

“I’m really delighted to sign again, to be honest. I’m happy that it shows how much they value me and want me. For the team and for the people who support us, and also for myself, I will continue to improve and to deliver success.” – Kyogo Furuhashi said last week after the club confirmed that the Celtic striker had eased transfer fears among the support by signing a new four year contract that will keep the Japanese striker at the club until at least summer 2027.

After such a successful 2022/23 campaign, the fear was that the vultures would circle and pick away at Celtic’s squad.

With Ange Postecoglou departing for Tottenham, it’s to be expected that the London club would be interested in the former head coach’s carefully assembled squad, while money flooding into football in Saudi Arabia has already tempted a number of world-renowned stars to make the move to the Middle East.

The main target would likely be Kyogo Furuhashi, the outstanding Japanese ace who blitzed 27 goals in Celtic’s Scottish Premiership-winning campaign. But his effusive praise of new boss Brendan Rodgers suggested that he is happy to remain in Glasgow for the foreseeable future, and his signature on his new contract confirms this for a delighted Celtic support.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic scores his team’s second goal during the Heart of Midlothian v Celtic Scottish Cup match at Tynecastle Stadium on March 11, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Kyogo Furuhashi – Celtic’s Goal Machine

For punters betting on today’s football matches, backing Celtic to triumph and Kyogo to score at anytime was a well-trodden path to success. Although the Hoops are routinely odds-on favourites to win – as they are at 1/10 to defeat Ross County on the opening day of the 2023/24 season, those prices can be extended by backing the 28-year-old to find the net as well.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic reacts after he scores his team’s third goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Mirren FC at on January 18, 2023  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With Celtic winning 32 of their 38 games last term and Kyogo averaging nearly a goal per game, it’s an appetising prospect for punters – hopefully more will follow during this campaign.

There should be ample opportunity, as the striker has made not one but two considerable commitments to the Parkhead club in July. The first was signing a new four-year contract, with the PFA Scotland Player of the Year revealing his ‘honour’ at representing Celtic and hoping to emulate his personal and the team’s treble-winning success in the near future.

Kyogo has also spoken favourably of his relationship with Rodgers, which Celtic fans will be hoping bears the same fruit as his connection with Postecoglou. “He is a brilliant manager,” the Japanese international has said. “I’m happy to work with him and I would like to return the favour by playing well with success.”

Celtic’s Got Noisy Neighbours

Jota of Celtic scores their team’s second goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at Celtic Park Stadium on September 03, 2022 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The manner in which theRangers finished last season under Michael Beale – four wins from five, including a 3-0  dead rubber win against Celtic at Ibrox – to some suggests that there could be a fiercer battle for prominence in Glasgow this term.

Or maybe it’s just that with the league won Celtic rested players ahead of the Scottish Cup Final and took the foot off the gas for the dead rubber with the home side winning their first game of the season against Celtic after four defeats and a draw, in the only game that didn’t matter.

Betting odds of 4/6 in Celtic’s favour and 11/10 for theRangers also reveal the relative proximity between the sides, who were separated by just seven points by the end of the 2022/23 Scottish Premiership campaign.

Much will depend on how well the transition to Rodgers’ studied management style goes, and his hugely impressive track record at Celtic between 2016-19 suggests that he will be a massive hit for a second time as Celtic manager.

A reset and a refresh at a happy hunting ground should hopefully serve the Irishman well – his previous reign at Celtic Park, between 2016 and 2019 in particular, is still fondly remembered by supporters, as Rodgers won every single domestic trophy in his first time as Celtic manager and all the rest, including theRangers won nothing.

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