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Celtic’s Two New Wingers Continue to Put on a Show in All Competitions

Discussion in 'News' started by TC News, Aug 24, 2021.

Discuss Celtic’s Two New Wingers Continue to Put on a Show in All Competitions in the News area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. TC News Administrator Administrator

    Nov 28, 2017
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    Celtic’s Two New Wingers Continue to Put on a Show in All Competitions

    Celtic needed to make a statement over the summer, not just by bringing in the talent required to rebuild and mount a challenge on Rangers, but also to retain star players. While the promising and towering centre-back Kristoffer Ajer was permitted to depart for the Premier League, last season’s top scorer of 22 goals, Odsonne Edouard, is still here and firing.

    Joe Hart was the big-name signing of the summer, joining from Tottenham Hotspur for the equivalent of loose change in modern football, and Carl Starfelt was an essential signing to patch the hole left by Ajer. Still, two of the most expensive were perhaps the most under-the-radar additions, and yet, they’ve proven to be the most impactful so far.

    Japanese and an Israeli winger

    Joining from Vissel Kobe of the J1 League and Maccabi Petah Tikva of Ligat ha’Al, wingers Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada have enjoyed an explosive start to life at Celtic Park, more than warranting their combined value of £8.7 million in transfer fees.

    Historically, Furuhashi has operated as a winger, even scoring 12 goals and five assists predominantly from the left-wing as recently as the 2019/20 J1 League season. Last season, he proved himself a very capable striker, scoring 13 goals in 15 games as the team’s striker. When he’s played up top for Celtic, so far, he’s scored five goals in four games, including a hat trick in his home debut to make history.

    At 19 years old and standing at a compact 5-ft-5-inches, Abada certainly isn’t the most imposing figure on the pitch, but he’s certainly developed a knack for getting in among the goals. In his native Ligat ha’Al last season, he netted 12 goals and set up four more through 36 games in both rounds, almost exclusively from the right-wing. He certainly made the right impression upon arrival, but few would have expected him to net four goals and two assists in his first seven appearances.

    High-impact attack to smash to the title

    It’s become apparent very quickly that Celtic don’t intend to take any prisoners this year. After a dynastic run of titles came to an abrupt end last season, new boss Ange Postecoglou hasn’t wasted any time in instilling his high-possession, high-press, and space-exploiting style of play. However, he and his exciting new attackers are still being doubted.

    Having won to the tune of 6-0 twice, but after losing the opening game 2-1 – three days after an extra-time loss in Denmark – Celtic sat fourth in the Scottish Premiership. Yet, despite being only one point from the top and ahead of Rangers by many, many goals, the Bhoys were still the second-favourites in the football betting, out at 6/4 to their Glaswegian rivals’ 8/15.

    While Postecoglou’s tactics within his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation do lend a squad this talented to huge goal tallies, some teams have already proven that it hasn’t quite clicked yet. The incredibly passive play of Heart of Midlothian in a 3-4-3 set-up held Celtic to one goal in the league. In Champions League qualifying, it was, once again, passive play in a 3-4-3 and then a 4-3-3 that stifled the goals.

    Still, Postecoglou has only been in the role for nine matches, at the time of writing, with there being several new faces in the team to add to the existing players for him to get acquainted with. So, some early struggles under a new regime are to be expected. As the season progresses, everyone becomes better drilled, and a certain starting XI emerges, slip-ups against more defensive teams should become less frequent.

    The two new attackers have been the breakthrough acts of the early season so far, looking perfectly suited to the new manager’s style. Once Edouard gets fully up to speed, and if Furuhashi can be as effective on his once-preferred wing, Celtic’s attack could be too strong to stop.