Ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon insists Brendan Rodgers’ tactical system has nothing to do with Kyogo struggling to show the same proficiency in front of goal as he has across previous seasons.
The striker has netted 12 so far this term – the same as Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers – with the tally so far significantly shy of the 35 he netted across the entirety of last season.
“There is this train of thought that it’s the change of manager but I don’t agree with that at all,” said Lennon.
“I don’t think he is out of form, he is probably just not getting the service he was looking at last year.
“It is definitely still a work in progress, this Celtic team and maybe Kyogo is suffering from that.
“You do worry about who would fill the gap if he got injured and there would be a big gap because he is very much a talismanic player.
“But when you have that much success people start looking after you more, defensively they double up or block your runs and Celtic always come up against a low block, particularly at home.”
And Lennon believes that Celtic’s run of away games which is in on the horizon may be no bad thing.
Rodgers’ side face Aberdeen at Pittodrie and then Hibs at Easter Road before squaring up Stephen Robinson’s St Mirren side in Paisley.
“They have ten games coming up now, seven of which are away,” said Lennon.
“It might just suit them now at this stage of the season just the way the atmosphere is around the place, because their away form has been pretty good and that might be something they thrive on with teams opening up.
“Teams want to come for you and open up a little more. We came up against it a lot at Celtic Park, teams really difficult to break down and sometimes there is nowhere for Kyogo to go.
“I was at the Buckie Thistle came last week and the pitch didn’t look great, I’d have to say. Maybe fewer games on it over the next month or two may improve the surface.
“Look at St Mirren just before the break and they could have won five or six against a really good St Mirren team. With the mindset with the way things are, playing away from home may be beneficial for them.”
It has been a quiet window for Celtic with only one new addition so far.
Nicolas Kuhn made his debut in the win over Ross County at the weekend with supporters frustrated at the lack of movement going into the final days of the window.
“They [strikers] are a premium, aren’t they?,” said Lennon.
“I am sure the club will be working away and there could be another couple coming in but if not the squad still should be strong enough to have a really good season.”
In any case, he expects Kyogo’s number to be in keeping with the figures he has posted across recent campaigns.
“I think he will have a good second-half of the season,” he said.
“He is such an important player for Celtic. He has had such an impact on the club since he arrived and he is the go-to guy. I think he will come good.
“I don’t think he is the type to lose confidence. He keeps making the runs and he doesn’t look like he gets too frustrated and once the Asian Cup is out of the way he will have his pals back.
[Daizen] Maeda is a great source of assists for him and Reo Hatate is another big miss for Celtic. I am looking forward to the second-half of the season and I have no doubt that he will score more goals.”
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