Hart hails Kyogo impact and says new deal is 'great news' for Celtic

Kyogo was handed an improved four-year-deal at Celtic on Tuesday.

Celtic’s Joe Hart has hailed the impact of Kyogo Furuhashi in Scotland and says the new deal for last season’s top scorer and player of the year is a signal of intent for the champions in their bid for continued success.

The Japanese forward, described as “beautiful person and exceptional footballer” by the 36-year-old goalkeeper, has extended his contract by another four years after netting 34 goals in all competitions last season as the Hoops secured a domestic treble.

He has now scored 54 goals in 83 games for the club, including several big moments in cup finals and derby matches, since joining from J-League side Vissel Kobe just under two years ago.

Hart rates the 28-year-old forward highly, as a person and a player, and knows how important he could be to any success under returning manager Brendan Rodgers.

And as exits from Parkhead dominate the summer agenda so-far, with manager Ange Postecoglou leaving for Spurs and fan-favourite Jota joining Al-Ittihad in a big money move, the former England goalkeeper was delighted to see the talisman commit to the club until 2027.

He said: “It’s huge, what a great bit of news that is, I love him as a person – he is a beautiful person and he’s an exceptional footballer.

“He’s been brilliant since he’s come in, he was really strong for us last year in big moments and he really sets the tone for a high pressing, exciting football team.

“He’s loved here and obviously he has felt that because he has wanted to commit a really important time in his career to this club and we appreciate that.

“I think is (a statement from the club on their ambitions going forward) and the statement from this club is, if you are playing well and you want to be here then you are welcome and if you don’t then we will look for someone who does.”

The Hoops kick-off the defence of their Premiership title against Ross County at Celtic Park in the first weekend of August on the day the league flag will be hoisted above the stadium for the second season in a row and 11th from the last 12.

They will also go straight into the Champions League group stages for the second season in a row with Rodgers expected to strengthen his squad in the coming weeks to get them ready to try and make an impact at that level.

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