Celtic handed boost after Japan only call up two Parkhead players for Asian Cup as Hajime Moriyasu explains call

Striker will be available for January matches after snub by Blue Samurai

Celtic will be able to call upon star striker Kyogo Furuhashi for the whole of January and beyond after the 28-year-old was left out of the Japan squad for the Asian Cup.

Furuhashi, who scored the winning goal for Celtic in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Rangers, has flitted in and out of Hajime Moriyasu’s pool of players during his tenure and the former Vissel Kobe man has not made the cut, with Moriyasu turning to his Parkhead team-mate Daizen Maeda, Bochum’s Takuma Asano, Feyenoord’s Ayase Ueda and Kashiwa Reysol’s Mao Hosoya as his forwards. Another Celtic player in midfielder Reo Hatate has also been called up despite only just recovering from injury.

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The Asian Cup takes place from January 12 until February 12, meaning that Maeda and Hatate could miss up to five matches for Celtic depending on Japan’s progress. The Blue Samurai are in a group with Indonesia, Iraq and Vietnam and Moriyasu said of his squad selection: “If you look at the overall level of Japanese football, there are more players playing at a high level. There is fierce competition for places and that means there is a high level of candidates for the national team. They are the best under the conditions for being called up. I won't talk about players who haven't been called up here. Due to their own circumstances, they may not be able to call up the team. I hope you understand that I have selected the best members to form the team for this year's Asian Cup.”

Two other Celtic players will be involved at the Asian Cup. South Korea have called up striker Oh Hyeon-gyu, while winger Marco Tilio is away with Australia.

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