REVEALED: NEW BHOY’S TARGET, ‘TO BE PICKED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE’

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CELTIC’S latest Japanese Bhoy Yuki Kobayashi has wasted no time in launching his career at the champions.

The 22-year-old centre-half arrived a month early before his five-year deal from Vissel Kobe can be rubber-stamped when the transfer window reopens on January 1 2023.

Kobayashi admitted he had been in touch with his former J-League club team-mate Kyogo Furuhashi and also Reo Hatate to ask what he can expect at Parkhead and his new environment.

The Hoops duo paved for the transfer to proceed smoothly and the defender aims to be up to speed by the time the first game of the new year is due at Ibrox on January 2.

PARADISE…how Celtic greeted new Japanese Bhoy Yuki Kobayashi.

He said: “I have been texting with Kyogo and Reo and I was asking about the atmosphere of the team and how Glasgow is as a city.

“Celtic is one of the biggest and most important clubs in the world and we have an opportunity to play in European competitions and that was very attractive for me to come here.

“I think, considering the playing style of Celtic, I’m already fit to play with the team.

“I can contribute to a high-line style of defending and in terms of the attacking phase I think I’m good at providing vertical passes and in this way, I will be able to contribute to the team.

“The playing style of Celtic for Japanese players is comfortable to play in, which is why I think they have had success so far and I think I have the confidence to adapt to the team.

“I have one month until I’m able to play in the competition and I would like to do my best to be picked as soon as possible.”

Kobayashi, of course, is aware of what is expected as a player in Ange Postecoglou’s line-up after facing him when the Greek-Australian gaffer was in charge of Yokohama F Marinos for three and a half years.

BY THE LEFT…Yuki Kobayashi in action for former club Vissel Kobe.

The cultured left-sided back-four operator, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “I knew him since he was in Japan and he achieved a lot of things in the J-League and made Yokohama F Marinos a great team, so I’m really excited to work with him and learn a lot of things.

“I have to play as the manager requires and to learn the playing style and it’s important to have a good adaptation. We have really good players in every position and I would like to learn a lot of things to improve myself.

“I had a really good impression of the Japanese players here and this is a great opportunity to show the qualities of Japanese players in Europe. I would like to become one of them and have good results with Celtic.”

Kobayashi added: “The Scottish league is different from the J-League, so, first of all, I need to adapt to the style of the league.

NET PROPHET…Kyogo Furuhashi was the transfer go-between between Yuki Kobayashi and Celtic.

“In terms of the playing style, a lot of physicalities will be required compared to the J-League, but I’ve been preparing and I’m ready and I want to show what I can do.

“I think playing well and having good results at Celtic can bring me opportunities to play in the national team and this is what I have to do now, to do my best in the team.”

Kobayashi is aware of the contribution of new team-mate Daizen Maeda in Japan’s remarkable performances in Qatar with wins over Germany and Spain and they now face Croatia and Josip Juranovic on Monday afternoon in the last 16 of the soccer showpiece.

Yusuke Ideguchi completes the set as the fifth player from the Land of the Rising Sun in the east end of Glasgow and it is an intriguing prospect that the full complement could play in the same team one day.

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