Kyogo Furuhashi has been a sensation for Celtic in the short time he’s been here.
Coming from Japan, Kyogo gets compared to Celtic Icon Shunsuke Nakamura who wasn’t signed directly from Japan but was very much a product of Japanese football.
Kyogo has all the attributes to be as big a star as Shunsuke – there’s a feeling we’re just scratching the surface.
But Kyogo wasn’t the last export from Japan after Naka. There was a man signed back in 2008 who many fans will remember; Koki Mizuno.
Koki signed for Celtic under Gordon Strachan – Celtic delving into the Japanese market to try and find the ‘next Naka’ while the midfielder was still at the club. The midfielder came in from JEF united where Koki has made over 80 appearances.
If you remember back to the time, Koki earned rave reviews playing for the Celtic reserves. Some thought it was just a matter of time before he got his first team chance.
Signing in January 2008, the player would make his first team debut in November against Motherwell – coming on as a late sub.
The player was skilful but wasn’t built for the rigours of Scottish football.
Koki made just two starting appearances for the club and a further 9 sub appearances – getting on the scoresheet once.
Funnily enough, one of Koki’s rare starts was at Ibrox against Rangers.
The midfielder played in the game back in December 2008 when a single goal from Scott McDonald was enough to seal the win for the bhoys in green.
Gordon Strachan didn’t fancy Koki or trying to persevere with the player.
Aiden McGeady had the position sewn up even though Aiden and Strachan didn’t get on too well.
The right-sided midfielder was released in 2010 – heading back to Japan where the player has bounced around over the years.
Mizuno’s last whereabouts was playing for Hayabusa Eleven – a team in the 8th tier of Japanese football. It will be a reality check to those who remember Koki as a young up and comer – he’s now 36!
Here’s a snapshot of the Japanese player’s career. Koki also has 4 Japan caps to his name.
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