Celtic have confirmed the signing of South Korean striker Oh Hyeon-gyu from Suwon Bluewings. 

The 21-year-old has reportedly joined Ange Postecoglou’s side in a deal believed to be worth £2.5million. 

The South Korean international is Celtic’s fourth January signing following the arrivals of Alistair Johnston, Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata. 

Oh's arrival comes as current striker Giorgos Giakoumakis moves closer to the exit door after failing to agree terms on an improved contract. 

Earlier in the window, it appeared as if Jeonbuk Hyundai’s Cho Gue-sung would be the striker to arrive at Parkhead to offset the predicted loss of Giakoumakis this January. 

However, Celtic have turned to another K League 1 striker in Oh, who netted 14 goals in 2022 for Suwon Bluewings. 

Here, we take a closer look at Postecoglou’s first signing from the South Korean market to assess what the young forward will bring to the Celtic attack….

Player profile

Oh made his debut for Suwon Bluewings in 2019 before spending two years with Gimcheon Sangmu as part of his national duties.

His 40 appearances for Sangmu, a club run by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces that allows players to continue with their football careers while serving their national defence duties, mostly came in 2021 while the club were in K League 2. 

Oh enjoyed a breakout season on his return to his parent club last year though, hitting double figures as he helped them maintain their K League 1 status through the relegation playoffs. 

Capped from under-17 to under-23 level, Oh made his full international debut for South Korea last November against Iceland. He did travel to Qatar for the World Cup too and trained with the squad throughout their campaign as they reached the last 16. 

However, after Tottenham Hotspur star Son Hueng-min recovered in time from a fractured eye socket to make the finals, Oh was designated their reserve player and not officially a squad member. 

Last year he played a total of 2,638 minutes for his club and, although he did have 410 minutes as a winger, he was predominately used as a centre-forward. 

Celtic Way:

This was mostly in Suwon Bluewings’ favoured formation in the 2022 K League 1, 4-4-2. He also lead the line as the central striker when they lined up in a 4-3-3 while he was also utilised as a winger in that same system on occasion, more often on the right of the front three.

In terms of his physical profile, as seen in the above graphic from Wyscout, Oh is 6ft 1in, a similar height to the striker he is said to be replacing in the Celtic squad, Giakoumakis. At 13 stone, he weighs in just a little less than the Greek forward. 

He may not have quite the same muscular physique as Giakoumakis either but he still has a powerful frame and offers plenty of physical presence, as we will see later in this report. 

Celtic Way:

The above chart, which uses Wyscout per-90-data converted into percentile ranks to compare him with other centre-forwards in K League 1 2002 (minimum 800 minutes played), can help start to build a clearer picture of Oh’s playing style. The chart is split into three sections, covering key attacking, possession and defending metrics.

Celtic Way:


Looking at his attacking section first we can see Oh’s 14 goals, which worked out at 0.49 per 90, see him rank above the 76th percentile for goal contributions. He also provided one assist in the 2022 K League 1 (0.04 per 90). 

He did overperform on his expected goals (0.35 per 90) which gives him a lower ranking in the expected goal contributions. 

It was not a huge overperformance though with his overall xG of 10.11 still more than respectable, especially in his breakthrough season in the top flight for a club that only just managed to avoid relegation. His expected assist number (0.05 p90) was similar to his actual assists. 

Oh’s average 2.39 shots per 90 and 40.63 per cent on target percentage see him rank around the average mark compared to other centre forwards in South Korea’s top tier for those metrics. His 3.63 touches in the box per 90 were also around average for a K League 1 striker. 

Celtic Way:

The above shot graphic gives further insight into Oh’s performance in front of goal last year. 

Oh took the majority of his shots with his stronger right foot but also had a decent number of efforts on goal off his left and with his head. 

Although there are several shots from low-quality areas at longer distances and some at tighter angles, something which can of course be easily improved on through coaching of course, a good chunk of his efforts at goal came from inside the box in central positions. 

Inside the box, Oh boasted an impressive goal-conversion percentage, scoring one in four of his attempts on goal. We can see he was a danger from deliveries into the box too with six of his 14 goals coming after crosses or set pieces. 

Oh is certainly a threat in the air. He times his jumps well and attacks the ball aggressively, as can be seen in the below example. 

Celtic Way:

Here, from a corner, Oh does well to free himself from his marker in the middle of the line of the six-yard box. 

Celtic Way:

Making a front-post run, he gets a good connection on the delivery to plant the ball past the goalkeeper. 

This physical presence not only makes him a handful for defenders at set pieces but also in open play too. 

Even at just 21, he already possesses impressive physical attributes, He is capable of holding off defenders, using his body to protect the ball. A good example of this is shown below where Oh pins his marker from a throw.

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Holding the defender back to create space to receive from the throw, he produces a nice flick into the path of his teammate who goes on to fire the ball into the roof of the net at the near post. 

Celtic Way:

Below is another example of Oh using his physical prowess to excellent effect in the final third. This time coming in off the left, he receives the ball in the half-space. 

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Although the pass is a little behind him, Oh is able to readjust, taking a touch towards the goal before using his strength to get in front of the defender to get his shot off. 

Even with the defender still tight on him, and slightly off balance, Oh manages to fire in a powerful effort that beats the goalkeeper at his near post. 

Celtic Way:

As mentioned, there is plenty of variety in Oh’s finishing too. As well as a physical threat, he is also capable of producing more composed finishes. 

Celtic Way:

An example of this is shown above where, after the ball is played across to him from the wide left area during a swift counter-attack, he calmly slows down, taking one touch to round the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net. 


Celtic Way:

As can be seen in the above heat map from last year, Oh is active all over the opposition third. There are, predictably for a striker, plenty of touches in the box, but also much deeper towards his own half, and across the width of the pitch with a slight leaning towards the left. 

This high level of activity on the ball is reflected in the high percentile rank in the possession section of his chart for carries, which combines dribbles and progressive runs. Oh registered 3.55 dribbles per 90 and 1.23 progressive runs per 90. 

Although he did have some minutes on the wing, this is a lot more than the current Celtic striker options so far this season. Taking just dribbles for example, Kyogo has averaged 1.45 per 90 in the Scottish Premiership this season, Giakoumakis just 1.02 per 90. 

He is certainly a strong carrier with the ball, protecting it well, as previously seen in the attacking section. Below shows one example of this in possession. 

Celtic Way:

Winning the ball back for his side inside the opposition half, Oh drives down the right touchline, showing great tenacity and stamina to ride two challenges before delivering a decent ball into the box. 

Celtic Way:

The next example again highlights Oh’s strong ball-carrying abilities. 

Celtic Way:

Receiving the ball with his back to goal out wide on the left side, he quickly shifts his body to face up the line.

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The sharpness of his turn and then strength from Oh are too much for the opposition defender who hauls him down, giving Suwon a set-piece opportunity in a dangerous area. 

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The above graphic shows just how effective Oh’s dribbling was in last year’s K League 1. He managed to keep possession after he dribbled an impressive 57 times out of 77 with five of his carries followed by a goal.   

This is in contrast to some extent to Giakoumakis who has been more of a one-touch finish specialist during his Celtic career. 

In terms of passing, he is not overly technical so this is perhaps another area of his game that can become more refined as develops. However, he has already shown he can be secure enough in his passing, completing 73.8 per cent of his passes in last season’s K League 1. 

Unsurprisingly, given Suwon’s struggles last season, and the fact they averaged 45.7 per cent possession, Oh’s ranks for the volume of his progressive passes and dangerous passes are not too high though, between the 25th and 50th percentile mark. 

Given Celtic’s dominance in possession compared to Suwon, there should be plenty of opportunities for Oh to develop this side his game further. 


The defensive section of Oh’s percentile rank chart shows he has plenty to offer off the ball. 

He ranks just below the 75th percentile rank for possession-adjusted interceptions, 2.38 per 90. His defensive duel win rate is impressive too, coming out on top 62.03 per cent of his 2.95 defensive duels per 90. 

Given what was seen in the attacking section, Oh was unsurprisingly involved in a higher number of aerial duels compared to his centre-forward counterparts in the 2022 K League 1, 10.24 per 90, but did rank at the lower end for his success rate in these duels (31.02 per cent). 

Celtic Way:

As we know, winning the ball back quickly and high up the pitch is a key component of Celtic’s system. Looking at the above graphic from Wyscout, Oh’s recoveries in the final third highlight how he might be well suited to this. 

Mostly from the left side of the pitch, he has made a total of 34 recoveries (1.23 per 90) in the final third in the last calendar year.

He has also made several dangerous recoveries which led to goalscoring opportunities, one of which led directly to a goal. 

Below shows an example of Oh’s work rate off the ball. 

Celtic Way:

Initially seizing on a loose touch from the defender in the box, Oh applies enough pressure to force the ball wide towards a covering midfielder. 

Celtic Way:

Oh is across quickly again though, putting pressure on the midfielder’s clearance which is eventually picked up by a Suwon player in the final third. 

Although not directly winning possession on this occasion, this highlights Oh’s ability to press effectively in dangerous areas. 


Active in and out of possession, Oh would offer a more rounded centre-froward alternative to Giakoumakis in the squad. 

That flexibility to play out wide may also offer the possibility of adding more physicality into the wider areas should that be required. Something that may appeal to Postecoglou in Europe, for example. 

With a few rough edges, understandably given he is only off the back of his first full season in the top flight in South Korea, the 21-year-old is probably not at a level where he can come in and immediately challenge Kyogo for the number one Celtic striker spot like Cho, who is a few years older, perhaps would have. 

However, there is more than enough here to suggest he can play his part from the off - for instance in taking over from Giakoumakis as the back-up striker initially - while also possessing plenty of potential that could see him develop into an exciting first-choice centre-forward option over the next season or two.