Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Major Reshuffle High Up The Pitch? | How Postecoglou Should Line Up The Celtic Attack

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Although the derby defeat against Rangers exposed their frailty in various spots, the rebuilding work under Ange Postecoglou deserves accolades considering the mayhem they encountered during the closure of the previous term.

Meanwhile, a major reshuffling is about to take place in the attacking third. The gaffer had Odsonne Edouard, Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Leigh Griffiths and Albian Ajeti as his striking options when he got appointed as the Parkhead chief, however, all but Ajeti have left the club to explore opportunities elsewhere.

Bayo has been plying his trade at Gent for a couple of months after failing to make it to Postecoglou’s plans, whereas outcast Leigh Griffiths has now completed a season-long loan to his former club Dundee. Wantaway Odsonne Edouard has featured so far across competitions, but the Frenchman has joined Crystal Palace this summer. Ajeti has not done enough to secure a first-team status and Celtic have roped in Georgios Giakoumakis as Edouard’s successor.

Celtic hitman Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his hat-trick against Dundee
Celtic v Dundee – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park Celtic s Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal of the game to complete his hat-trick during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Sunday August 8, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJanexBarlowx 61534990

Why ‘Kyogoal’ Should Lead The Line For Celtic

Having said that, the manager might undergo a selection dilemma high up the pitch. Despite the flexibility of Kyogo Furuhashi across the frontline, the Japanese sensation is most suited as an outright ‘number 9’. He has fired in 7 times in 9 appearances altogether but has blanked in the league while featuring as a left-winger (against St. Mirren and Rangers). Giakoumakis, the top scorer last season in Eredivisie, might have to fight for a starting role at his new club.

The arrival of Filipe Jota from Benfica substantiates the above claim. With Mohamed Elyounoussi back at Southampton, we have seen Ryan Christie and James Forrest featuring down the left as makeshifts. Contract rebel Christie has left for Bournemouth, but the addition of Jota would restore the balance given his expertise as a left-sided attacker.

Although the crisis at the back remains a major concern, the Bhoys are well equipped in offence with ample alternatives. Injuries have hindered the progress of Michael Johnston, but the academy prodigy is tipped to challenge and cover Jota once available for selection. Forrest and Liel Abada should complement each other on the right and the likes of Furuhashi, Giakoumakis and Ajeti offer depth as well as quality while spearheading the attack. Celtic might eventually have a brand new frontline comprising Jota, Furuhashi and Abada.

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