Davie Provan has warned Ange Postecoglou that playing Kyogo Furuhashi sparingly could cost Celtic the title.
Last Saturday the striker started the game against Livingston on the bench with the hoops held to a goal-less draw.
In September injury forced Kyogo to miss three SPFL matches with five points dropped against Livingston and Dundee United.
The 26-year-old was signed in mid-season from Visel Kobe, after a stint in quarantine he flew into Edinburgh and made his Celtic debut against Hearts.
Kyogo arrived at Celtic after making 21 appearances in the J-League with Postecoglou regularly warning against his first choice striker suffering burnout.
Responding to that iIn his Sun column, Provan writes:
Unless Postecoglou stops havering, he’ll have the Celtic support on his case for the first time. Punters are starting to question his judgment, and with good reason.
I’d argue Celts lost the first Old Firm game of the season because he played Kyogo wide at Ibrox. Odsonne Edouard had the pipe and slippers on in Govan that afternoon.
In the short time the Japanese striker was played through the middle, he had the Rangers backline in knots.
Fast forward a couple of months and Kyogo is still being wasted. If Postecoglou had a good reason for leaving Furuhashi out against Livingston, I’d love to hear it.
Burnout? Do me a favour. We’re not talking 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo here. Kyogo is ten years younger, he’s at his physical peak.
Without checking the numbers, I’m guessing Callum McGregor has played a hell of a lot more football than Kyogo over the last few seasons. And when the Japanese is Celts’ best striker by a distance, he has to play.
If the Aussie believes Furuhashi needs a rest, leave him out of the cup games. Ange should have noticed this year’s title is worth £40million to the winners. Set against that cash, the Europa League, Scottish Cup and League Cup are irrelevant.
So far Kyogo has started seven of Celtic’s 12 SPFL matches, seven out of 10 in Europe and one of two League Cup ties.
After Dundee he will report for international duty, on his return Celtic will play 12 matches between November 20 and January 2, after that there will be a two week break.
CLICK HERE for all time Kyogo stats.
CLICK HERE for Kyogo’s Celtic details.