“My strongest abilities are my speed, good technique and I create a lot of chances,” Nicolas Kuhn

New Celtic signing Nicolas Kuhn spoke to the mainstream media and also some of the Celtic fan media yesterday afternoon at Celtic Park.  Here’s what happened at the Celtic Fan Media conference…

And here’s how things went as our new Bhoy got to meet the hacks.

What do you prefer to be called? “Nick is fine.”

Can you give us your initial impressions of Celtic after being here for a couple of days now? “It was a stressful week. I am really happy to be here. I met all my teammates and all the staff and a lot of people around the club and they are really nice. I can’t wait to get started.”

You have been at some very big clubs up until this point. What have you learned from those experiences at places like Ajax and Bayern Munich? Do you think you can use that experience here? “Of course. I was at some big clubs and I learned a lot. It was a good school. For example, with Ajax, there are a lot of players who have had great careers already and they have taken big steps to nice clubs. I learned a lot and I want to show what I can do here.”

Looking at some of the players you played and trained with. It is quite a list of famous names. Can you give us some idea of some of the guys you have gained experience alongside? “Of course, at Ajax, I played with the whole squad. We reached the semi-final of the Champions League and I trained all season with the first team. At Bayern Munich, I played with players like Robert Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich and all the guys you know with Bayern.”

You have had a good spell at Rapid Vienna. How do you take the next step after having experience playing with big teams and now playing regularly with a big club like Celtic? “It was important for me to have a lot of games now and not to have problems with any injuries. That has been going really well for more than half a season now. I am happy and now I want to show what I can do when I can.”

You will have had conversations with the manager before you came here. What were those conversations like and you can give us an insight into what Brendan Rodgers said to you? “We had some really good meetings. We talked a lot and he told me what a great and big club Celtic was. I knew of Celtic before and I saw some games and he convinced me to come here. Everything he told me was really nice and I had my first training session today. For me, it was clear, the moment Celtic called and showed interest, I wanted to come here.”

Were other clubs interested in you? Why did you pick Celtic, if there was interest elsewhere? “There were other clubs interested but the moment I received the message from Celtic, I didn’t think about going somewhere else.”

You are in a position where there is lots of competition. Is that something you are prepared for? “Of course, in all of my clubs, there was competition. I have to show that I can play and what I can do. Competition is always good.”

You have been at big clubs previously but you are now joining a club that only accepts being number one. How do you think you will deal with that pressure? “I think there were also some clubs in my past that only accepted being number one. I am used to it and I am looking forward to what’s coming and you want to win every game.”

In terms of the Celtic fans, many of them have been watching your YouTube highlights but many of them have not seen you play a game before. What should they expect from you? What kind of a player are you? What attributes do you have? “I think my strongest ability is my speed. I have good technique. I create a lot of chances and I like one versus one situation or one against two. I love to be in those situations and I think that is what the fans can expect.”

So a player that might excite the fans here. What’s your favoured position? It seems like you can play in several. Did the manager say he sees you in one specific position? “I was on the right wing most of the time at Rapid Vienna. I’m also used to playing as a number 10 or as a second striker or on the left side. For me, it doesn’t really matter.”

Do you have any personal targets for the year? What are your targets? “At the end of the day, you want to win every trophy there is. That’s the goal, but you have to go step by step from game to game. For me personally, I want to play and I want to show what I’m able to do. I don’t have an exact number of goals that I want to score but that was also something I spoke with the manager about. He has had a lot of wingers in the past and he loves to help them and bring them in the right position. If that’s going to happen, then I will score.”

You said earlier on that it was a stressful week. Can you tell us why that was? “When I was in Vienna still, there were some problems with coming here. It took a little bit longer than expected, so I had to wait the whole time to take a flight here. Then it was really fast, as I had to take the medical check and fly then to Glasgow and all the pictures in the evening. Yesterday was my first time at the club and I met all of the people. Today was my first training session, so there were a lot of things to do.”

Can you tell us how close you were to making the breakthrough at Ajax and Bayern Munich? “I think at Ajax I did very well in the youth system. When I first arrived, we won the league with the second team. I trained the whole time with the first team, and usually, I was the top scorer at that time. I think I had the chance to play, or I deserved it, then I made the move to Bayern. After the first season, we also were champions with the second team in the third league in Germany. Then there were some private problems, so I took a step back for the people who were watching where I was playing. For me, though, it was a good step, so I can put two steps forward now!”

How much do you feel you’ve improved since those days? “Yeah, a lot. I think now that I’ve played regularly I am staying fit and I am able to show what I can do.”

Do you still harbour international hopes at senior level? “Of course, when I was at Erzgebirge Aue for one year on loan, I told them that I wanted to play in the Champions League and the national team. Now I have made a big step into a big club, so of course in the future, I want to play for the national team as well.”

You signed a long-term deal here. Do you feel that this is the club to show you are ready to take those steps and fulfil your potential? “That was the point of why I came here because the opportunities are really nice here. If you see the stadium and the fans it’s unbelievable.”

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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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