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Scottish football champions Celtic sign S. Korean forward Oh Hyeon-gyu

Jan. 26, 2023 - 09:24 By Yonhap
South Korean football player Oh Hyeon-gyu poses with his new uniform for Celtic after signing with the Scottish Premiership club, in this photo captured from Celtic's Twitter page on Thursday. (Yonhap)

The reigning Scottish club football champions Celtic have signed South Korea international Oh Hyeon-gyu.

Celtic, who won the Scottish Premiership title last season and are also leading the competition this campaign, announced their acquisition of the 21-year-old Wednesday evening. Celtic said Oh's five-year deal is subject to international clearance.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the transfer fee was reportedly 2.5 million euros ($2.7 million).

Oh, formerly of Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the K League 1, is the third South Korean to sign with Celtic, following two former national team mainstays in Ki Sung-yueng and Cha Du-ri.

In 2022, Oh led Suwon with 13 goals in 36 league matches. He earned his first and so far only international cap in November last year.

Oh traveled with the national team to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later that month, serving as an emergency backup in case of injuries. Oh didn't end up dressing for any of South Korea's four matches, but he earned praise from coaches and teammates for his strong work ethic and team-first attitude.

In an interview with his new club, Oh said it was a dream-come-true moment to sign with Celtic.

"I feel like I'm on a movie set, and I'm really excited to be in the city, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming days," Oh said, decked out in a Celtic kit. "This is the moment I have dreamed of, and I'm really excited to perform in front of the fans at the stadium. One of my aims is to score a lot of goals, and I also have ambitions of winning the league championship."

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou said he had been watching Oh for some time, and he was "the striker I really wanted as I think he will be a great fit in our squad."

"He is a young, talented striker with great attributes and someone who is ready to take the next stage in his career, a player who is hungry, eager to develop and to achieve success," Postecoglou said. "Really importantly, I know that he had his heart set on joining us too, and that his own perseverance has been crucial in making this deal happen, so his determination to join Celtic has been very clear."

Celtic won their 52nd league title last season, and they are in first place through 22 matches this season with 61 points from 20 wins, one draw and one loss. They are nine points clear of Rangers. (Yonhap)