YUKI KOBAYASHI found the lure of joining Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic Revolution too tempting to turn down.
The 22-year-old defender has signed a five-year deal after coming to the end of his contract at Vissel Kobe, as CQN reported.
Kobayashi will become the fifth Japanese Bhoy at the champions as he follows former club team-mate Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda, who started the nation’s shock 2-1 World Cup win over Germany yesterday, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi.
The cultured left-sided centre-back left his J-League outfit with a massive thank-you to them for helping him to this stage of his career.
JUST CHAMPION…Celtic welcome new Bhoy Yuki Kobayashi.
Kobayashi, speaking on the club website, said: “This season ended with a disappointing result and I wondered if I should transfer at this time.
“But playing in Europe has been my dream and goal since I started playing. I cannot thank the club enough for understanding the challenge at this timing and sending me off.
“Ever since I entered soccer school in kindergarten, I have been brought up at the Vissel Kobe academy. I sincerely appreciate Vissel Kobe and Vissel Academy.
“That’s why I want to show the world the value of the Vissel academy. To all fans, thank you for always supporting us with your passionate support.”
DETERMINED…Yuki Kobayashi slides in to tackle an opponent.
Kobayashi will also be available for selection from January 1 2023, but could link up with his new team-mates a week today.
The champions conceded 22 goals in 38 league games on their way to the title last season, but this time around they have leaked 13 in just 15 games.
Joe Hart has managed only one shut-out – the 3-0 win over Livingston in West Lothian on October 30 – in nine Premiership games and Postecoglou is determined to close the back door.