Japan recalls Celtic ace Furuhashi to friendlies

Scottish Premier League top player Kyogo Furuhashi was recalled to Japan on Thursday after nine months in the international wilderness that saw him miss the World Cup.

Furuhashi has scored 25 goals in 35 games this season as Celtic have solidly retained their league title, currently seven points ahead of Rangers with one game left to play.

Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu called up the 28-year-old forward for friendly matches against El Salvador and Peru, along with Celtic teammates Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda.

“I called him because he gets results and makes himself known,” Moriyasu said of Furuhashi, who last played for Japan last September. “I expect him to score goals. I expect him to score goals and I expect him to create chances.”

Hatate also missed out on Japan’s World Cup squad and could only win a second cap if he appeared in the June friendly matches.

Moriyasu has named only six defenders in a powerful attacking team that also includes Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma and Real Sociedad striker Takefusa Kubo.

“There may be fewer specialized defenders here, but I think that’s enough for what I want to try in these two games,” said Moriyasu, who called out three unsheltered players.

“There really aren’t any players who can only play one position.”

Japan drew against Uruguay and lost to Colombia in two home friendlies in March after they were eliminated in the round of 16 to Croatia at the World Cup in Qatar.

© 2023 AFP