If Brendan Rodgers had a pound for every time he has been asked about the fortunes of Kyogo Furuhashi this season he would probably have enough to significantly strengthen his striking options.

The fluctuating form of the Japanese forward has been a source of consternation and conjecture for fans and pundits alike all term.

Rodgers himself has often been cited as the source of Kyogo’s issues, with former Celtic forward Chris Sutton saying last week that the Celtic manager was ‘killing him’ with his tactical setup, a charge that Rodgers vehemently denies.

Whatever the reasons, it cannot be denied that Celtic have not seen the best of their once talismanic striker over the course of this campaign.

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He can still be relied upon to turn up on the big occasion, as goals in both games to date against Rangers and a couple of Champions League goals proved, but his strike against St Mirren at the weekend was just his fifth in his last 21 games since that brilliant finish against Atletico Madrid in late October.

It came from a deeper position, with the arrival of Adam Idah as an alternative focal point of the Celtic attack allowing Rodgers to experiment with dropping Kyogo between the midfield and the front line as the in-form Paulo Bernardo made way.

Has Rodgers finally found an answer then to his Kyogo conundrum? Or was it simply a system designed to exploit the weaknesses in that of their direct opponent on the day?

“It’s an option for us because of the system and how they play,” Rodgers said.

“It creates space and we felt with Adam’s presence that he would attract numbers and it would give opportunities for midfield players or attacking players coming into the game.

“I think it’s just [about] learning the position, sometimes [Kyogo was] coming too deep. The times when they got it in between the lines he then sped up the game for us and did very well.

“But we know what he can do when he is playing through the middle. Sometimes, against teams that are low, he is maybe not involved as much, so this gives him a chance to connect the game for us.

“It’s an option and one we can use again.”

On the subject of how Kyogo fits into the way Rodgers normally sets up his team to build the attack, the Celtic manager is consistent in his rejection of the theory that he has tried to fix something that wasn’t broken under his predecessor Ange Postecoglou.

“I hear bits and pieces that he’s playing a different style, he’s playing a different way – he’s never been asked to,” he said.

“His strength is on the last line. We asked him to do something slightly different when he came on the other night [against Hibs], so between him and Adam they can both drop in short and they can both run in behind.

“But when he’s been playing up there on his own, he’s been asked to do the same things.

“Now, maybe the service to him hasn’t quite been the same, but when I saw him before I came in here he was running in behind and he was getting service, but with limited touches on the ball.

“If anything, he’s being asked to maybe combine and set the game up a little bit more, and when he does that, he’s done it really, really well.

“But he’s not been asked to play any different. I just wanted to freshen up the front line.”

That option to rotate his striker may be one we see Rodgers utilise more and more then in the coming weeks and closing months of the title race.

“I just think it’s also the rhythm of games, like having the three games in the one week,” he said.

“We haven’t really been able to do that, and it’s like with the wingers as well, having that freshness to bring in and change the dynamic when we need to.

“That’s what you want as a coach, and that’s been part of the reason that we haven’t really been able to make the substitutions that you’d want to keep the tempo and the freshness in the games because maybe of unavailability.

“But now we are starting to get players back, players have competition, so you know you have to perform and that’s what you want.”

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Getting the players back that Rodgers references in wide areas may also be a factor in unlocking Kyogo’s powers.

“I think so,” he said.

“As a striker, with the greatest of respect, you do rely on your service.

“If you have two wingers on the side that want to run in behind, then you get those balls flashed across a lot more regular, and that’s when he’s at his best with those movements in behind the last line and players finding him with those passes.

“So, it’s a combination of things, but he’s still a brilliant striker, you can see that. And he always turns up in the big games as well.

“When you are playing so many games, you are never going to be right on the top of your game in every single game, but I am still so happy he is here, and he gives us that real penetration and threat.

“He could have had more goals this season, he’s had some great chances, but as long as he’s there making the runs and working hard, then that will do for me.”