Ange Postecoglou is convinced Kyogo Furuhashi will become a huge Hoops fans favourite – and he’s still hoping Ryan Christie sticks around to see it.
The £4.5m frontman made a dazzling home debut as he struck a stunning hat trick in the 6-0 demolition of Dundee to get Celtic ’s Premiership campaign up and running.
Furuhashi stole the show but Christie wasn’t far behind with three assists in an all action display as Postecoglou’s side clicked in to gear.
A small section of Hoops fans protested against the board before the game but we left purring after putting the Dens men to the sword.
And Postecoglou revealed he’s not given up on Christie being part of his long term vision for the club.
The playmaker is on the radar of Premier League Crystal Palace and Burnley with his contract ticking down until January.
A new deal remains on the table and the club are open to new talks – and Postecoglou would love the Scotland star to stay longer.
He said: “I don’t think I need to twist his arm. I’ve already said that if this doesn’t convince him, I don’t think anything can.
“I think they are more questions for Ryan than me. I’d love to have him as part of the club.
“All I can do is treat people as I have seen them, and he has been fantastic from the moment I’ve come into the place.
“With the way he’s training and the way he’s playing his football, he’s a fantastic footballer and he suits the way I want to play.
“But I’m not the master of his future, that’s in his hands.
“He was brilliant. He’s been good in every game to be fair. “His performances have been excellent, he’s training well and he’s enjoying his football.
“I played him on the left today, but we know he is versatile and can play elsewhere in the team as well.
“He got his assists today and I thought he was a key part of what we were doing.”
Postecoglou wants Christie to remain but he’s thrilled to have Furuhashi on board with the Japan star making a huge impact.
The 26-year-old notched in the 4-2 Europa League qualifying win in Jablonec last week and was devastating against Dundee.
The Celtic boss said: “It’s quite incredible, and he could have probably had a couple more as well.
“I think people see what I’ve seen in him from the past three or four years. It’s not just his goals, it’s his movement and just his willingness to work.
“He closed down players, and I think if anything that buys you more into the kind of person he is, and I think the fans will appreciate that.
“It’s great getting the goals, but when they see his efforts in a defensive sense, they know he’s working for the shirt.”
Postecoglou was delighted to see hit side hit top gear after a rough start to life at Celtic Park.
The manager has being playing catch up and his rebuild is only just getting underway.
But the early season gloom has been lifted in the last week and the Dundee dismantling in front of nearly 25,000 fans has given the club a boost.
Postecoglou said: “It was good, it was pleasing.
“I know you were all emphasising the fact that we had to get a win today to start off our season after last week’s disappointing result, particularly here at home, but I as just as keen for a strong performance.
“That was the pleasing thing, it was a strong performance.
“We started the game well with really good intent, being aggressive, and we got our goals.
“That gave us the confidence and the best part of it was that we didn’t let up.
“Right until the end we were still trying to score goals, and I think that sort of intent gives our fans the impression of the kind of team we want to be.”
Postecoglou lapped up his side’s attacking display but he was also thrilled with his first competitive clean sheet.
He said: “I think that just comes from us wanting to work really hard, particularly from the front.
“The front three worked awfully hard defensively, putting pressure on their back four and goalkeeper, and they were supported well by David and Tommy.
“The back four with Callum McGregor and Joe Hart were able to organise themselves to minimise the threat, so it was a team effort.
“There is still stuff we have to work on, it’s far from the finished product, but it was pleasing to see that we were much better in terms of our organisation.”