Oh given sound advice from former Bordeaux star, Hwang Eui-jo

Kyogo’s current injury predicament mean Ange Postecoglou’s plans to introduce new South Korean striker Hyeongyu Oh on a gradual basis may have to be revisited. With Giorgis Giakoumakis now in a red-tape limbo in the MLS, Celtic have only two real options left when it comes to the central striker position – Oh and of course Daizen Maeda.

Celtic v St Mirren – Daizen Maeda right celebrates scoring the first goal of the game Scottish Cup fifth round match at Celtic Park, Saturday February 11, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

Perhaps an indication of the manager’s intentions came when Maeda was moved from the wing to a central position when Kyogo left the field injured against St Mirren – and of course grabbed the opening goal of a thumping 5-1 Scottish Cup fifth round victory.

Yet with Oh coming off the bench to score his first goal in the Hoops with an instinctive poacher’s goal, perhaps the manager has had some food for thought ahead of this weekend’s clash with Aberdeen.

Of course, being able to play in multiple positions is something Ange Postecoglou appears to appreciate in his signings of late, and much like Maeda shifted his on-field role to good effect at the weekend a bit of advice has come to light for Oh to consider the same.

Hwang Eui-jo played for Bordeaux so knows what players coming from South Korea need to grasp in order to adapt in European footbll. And it was he who Oh reached out to prior to signing on at Celtic. And the Nottingham Forest striker, currently on loan with FC Seoul, as reported in Daily Record, had some wise words regarding both his positional flexibility and getting to grips with the local lingo.

Celtic v St Mirren – Hyeongyu Oh celebrates scoring with team-mates during the Scottish Cup fifth round match at Celtic Park, Saturday February 11, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

“Because I had previously played in Europe with Bordeaux for three years, Oh reached out to me for advice before he decided to sign for Celtic. I had a couple of important instructions for him – the first was to gain the respect of your teammates and the second was to learn to play as a wide forward or a winger, as well as just a striker.

“In European football, variety is key. The ability to be able to play well in a number of positions is very important. I believe Oh is good enough to do that. He has the physicality and ability to expand his game. And it is very important he reaches out to his teammates and coaches at Celtic and tries to integrate as much as possible.

“I was in France for three years and still can’t speak French. That was undoubtedly a hindrance. I told Oh to learn the language as quickly as possible. He is clearly a very good player, but as a Korean, you have to work extra hard to succeed in Europe. I am sure he will.”

Although we are working with an incredibly small sample size from which to judge so far, Oh has looked a promising acquisition once again from Ange Postecoglou and his recruitment team headed up by Mark Lawwell.

He looks an all-out striker as his goal against the saints showed, but he is also a big unit who uses his strength ever so well to protect the ball and bring teammates into play. He is also seems a player who is keen to learn and adapt to Scottish football as quickly as possible.

Having an ability to play in more than one position isn’t something we’ve been introduced to so far, but the advice of a 53 times capped fellow South Korean international may well lead to us seeing Oh on the wing as well as a main striker.

Celtic v St Mirren – Hyeongyu Oh celebrates scoring his first Celtic goal during the Scottish Cup fifth round match at Celtic Park, Saturday February 11, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

It seems almost certain Kyogo will not be risked for this weekend’s match with the Dons, and if that is indeed the case, it will be interesting to see if Hyeongyu Oh will get his first start for Celtic against Aberdeen, or if Daizen Maeda will be utilised as Celtic’s main striker to afford Oh some further time to settle into his new environment.

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 the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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