Oh Hyun-gyu (22, Suwon) is more likely to join the “European” Korean leaguer. As local reports say that only Celtic’s medical tests remain, the transfer seems to be a matter of time.
On the 23rd (local time), local media outlets such as Sky Sports in the UK are reporting that “Celtic, a prestigious club in the Scottish Premiership, has agreed with Suwon to recruit Oh Hyun-gyu.” The transfer fee varies depending on the media, but it was found to be in the range of 2.5 million to 3 million pounds (approximately 3.8 billion to 4.6 billion won). Soon, it is known that only medical tests remain, implying that the transfer is imminent.
Oh Hyun-kyu became famous as the ’27th’ player of coach Paulo Bento during the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Although he did not make the final entry for the national football team, he was selected as a reserve member and headed to Qatar. Oh Hyun-gyu did not play in the finals, but after the World Cup, he showed his will to advance to Europe, and Celtic has shown interest in him and expressed their intention to recruit him. It is analyzed that he sent love calls to Oh Hyun-gyu several times before the World Cup, and after persistent courtship, he decided to make a transfer.
Even if Oh Hyun-gyu transfers to Celtic, it is unlikely that he will be able to secure a starting position. For Celtic, forward striker Kyogo Furuhashi is holding on. He is currently the top scorer with 17 goals in 20 league matches. Last season, he also scored 12 league goals, and is Celtic’s main goal scorer, scoring a total of 20 goals in the Europa League (5 goals) and cup competitions (3 goals). Celtic is known to have ‘picked’ Oh Hyun-kyu as a replacement for Georgios Yakumakis (Greece), a backup resource for Furuhashi. There have been reports that Yakumakis will leave the team for the Japanese J-League or the US Major League Soccer (MLS) in the transfer market this winter.
메이저놀이터 However, it can be an opportunity for Oh Hyun-gyu. Although Yakumakis is Furuhashi’s backup resource, he is playing with guaranteed playing time. According to the Celtic club, Furuhashi played 1,880 minutes last season and Yakumakis played 1,045 minutes. Celtic coach Engie Postecoglu played practical football by properly replacing the two players in each game. This means that even if Oh Hyeon-gyu transfers as Furuhashi’s backup, he can be guaranteed some playing time. Rather, he is able to buy time to adapt to the team instead of having to play as a starting player right away and having a burden.
In addition, since Celtic is the strongest team in the league, it can play in ‘big water’ such as the UEFA Champions League. Celtic currently leads the league with 20 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss (61 points), 9 points clear of rivals Rangers (52 points). Oh Hyun-gyu could receive attention from big European clubs if Celtic goes to the UEFA Champions League. Hwang Hee-chan (27, Wolverhampton) also participated in the UEFA Champions League in 2019 when he was a member of Salzburg, Austria, and scored by beating Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, imprinting himself on soccer fans around the world. At that time, the game also served as a decisive stepping stone for entering the EPL.
It is also advantageous that Celtic has a favorable atmosphere for Asian players. Australian coach Postecoglu served as Japan’s Yokohama Marinos coach from 2018 to 21, leading the team to the top of the J-League and advancing to Europe. At the same time, he recruited and appointed six Japanese players, including Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Omoki Iwata, Leo Hatate, and Yuki Kobayashi. He is also nicknamed ‘Asia Tong’ because he led the Australian national team (2013-2017) and won the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup championship. Also, Celtic is a team that Cha Doo-Ri and Ki Sung-Yeong played together, so he has a high understanding of Korean players.
An official from the K-League said, “Oh Hyun-kyu is a player who creates goals based on his momentary stamina, and he seems to fit well with Celtic’s tactics.” The icing on the cake,” he predicted.