“Celtic is one of the most famous European clubs in Japan,” Yuki Kobayashi

Kyogo’s glowing Celtic reference helped convince our new Bhoy Yuki Kobayashi that he should accept the offer to join his former Vissel Kobe teammate in Glasgow alongside fellow Japanese players Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi.

“I had contact with him, yes,” Yuki revealed at yesterday’s media conference.  “He told me about the team, the stadium and the atmosphere. It was very positive.

“Does the success of Kyogo show me what’s possible? I have a confidence in myself and will prepare myself to my best standard to train hard. Obviously, I play a different position to Kyogo but I think I can adapt quickly as he did. As I said, I will prepare myself to try and help the team.

“When I first heard of the interest of Celtic I was very happy because I thought it was a good opportunity for me. Once I got the offer, we talked with Vissel Kobe and they sent me to play here. As soon as I heard about the interest from Celtic, this was my main target to continue my career.

“Currently, Japanese players are having good results (at Celtic) so I had a really good impression of the club anyway. We can say for sure that Celtic is one of the most famous European clubs in Japan.

“The fact we already have Japanese players here for more than a season helps me a lot. I’m sure of that. I think it will be a benefit and I can have a good adaptation to the club and the style of football,” Yuki Kobayashi, who also spoke to the Celtic fan media (see below) said.

And at his own media conference yesterday afternoon Ange Postecoglou outlined his own thoughts on the signing of Yuki Kobayashi.

“It’s good to have Yuki in,” the Celtic manager said. “He’s someone I’ve been tracking this last 12 months in the J-League. He’s a left-sided centre back, which are not always easy to find. At 22, he’s already got a lot of experience in a good competition in Japan and played a number of games.

“With him being out of contract I felt it was a good opportunity to bring him in now and let him get bedded into the club. He’ll start training now and obviously will be available come January. But this allows us to ease him in and he’s one we’ll look at medium to long term, but whatever he contributes in the short term will be a bonus.

“The position he plays, there’s a real opportunity there to develop a really good player.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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