Sunday, December 4, 2022

Why Celtic Could Script Another Success Story By Roping In This Japanese Star

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic have regained their supremacy in Scottish football and are likely to retain the Premiership crown with a nine-point lead already over bitter rivals Rangers. Ange Postecoglou has not only formed a formidable force with shrewd signings but also implemented a philosophy within the group. Meanwhile, the Hoops should be aiming for a ‘domestic treble’ following their European exit and the gaffer, too, is exercising his contacts to rope in another player from the J1 League.

Yuki Kobayashi is linked with a Parkhead swoop for quite some time and the Bhoys are backed to have him on a Bosman given his Vissel Kobe contract is set to expire in January. He will be the fifth Japanese player to ply his trade in Glasgow under Postecoglou and the Aussie boss, desperate to strengthen themselves in the heart of the backline, is keen on having the 22-year-old centre-half in his ranks from February onwards.

It’s been three hits and one miss so far in terms of Japanese recruits since Postecoglou’s appointment. Yosuke Ideguchi might have not settled in yet amid persistent injury problems, but the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda have been exquisite in their respective roles. Kobayashi would look to follow in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen and write his own success story for years to come.

Ange Postecoglou

The former Japanese youth international progressed through the academy ranks of Vissel Kobe. He was loaned out to Machida Zelvia and Yokohama FC for regular minutes and those spells helped him secure a first-team status at his boyhood club. So far he has appeared 78 times for the cows and his emergence back in the homeland should see him attaining overseas success with Celtic.

Why It’s A Smart Signing For Celtic Despite Ample Defensive Options

The Celts, however, are well equipped in deep defence. Cameron Carter-Vickers has been the standout performer since his move from Tottenham Hotspur, also Moritz Jenz and Carl Starfelt have been rotated so far this term. But the arrival of Kobayashi is expected to jeopardize the future of both Stephen Welsh and Liam Scales.

While Scales has already been loaned out to Aberdeen back in the summer, Welsh is currently the fourth-choice centre-back behind Carter-Vickers, Jenz and Starfelt. The young Scotsman should part ways to develop his attributes and his egress would allow Kobayashi to make the cut in the manager’s long-term plans. The youngster is calm, composed and disciplined in the defensive third, but he must attune to the aggression and demands of the Scottish game to claim a place in the starting lineup.

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