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Celtic closing in on the signing of defender Yuki Kobayashi

An update has emerged on Celtic and their pursuit of Yuki Kobayashi ahead of the January transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to Football Insider, the Hoops have now agreed personal terms with the central defender ahead of signing him at the start of 2023.

Would Kobayashi be a good signing?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The report claims that the club are now preparing to finalise an agreement as they close in on a free transfer, with Kobayashi’s contract at Vissel Kobe expiring at the end of January.

It is stated that Ange Postecoglou wants to sign a centre-back with the potential to develop and improve over time and has identified the Japanese enforcer as a target.

Imagine him and Carter-Vickers

The Hoops do have the option to sign Moritz Jenz on a permanent basis but there is no guarantee that the club go through with that or that the player will agree to it next summer.

This means that Kobayashi could be thrust into the spotlight next season if he does enough to catch the eye in the second half of the current campaign.

Now, imagine him and Cameron Carter-Vickers, who Jan Vertonghen once dubbed an absolute beast“, lining up at centre-back for Celtic. It could be the catalyst to forming a remarkable and beast-like partnership at the back.

Indeed, this pairing could provide a perfect balance in possession for Postecoglou as the Kobe defender is naturally left-footed and could open up angles down the left channel, instead of having another right-footed defender next to the former Tottenham man.

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Japanese-based journalist Dan Orlowitz praised Kobayashi’s ability on the ball, as he told the Celts Are Here podcast, via the Daily Express: “He potentially brings a lot of what Ange Postecoglou is looking for in terms of contributing to the build-up. He is not necessarily a shot-taker, but he can force turnovers, set up passes and move the ball forward.

“He’s got very good tactical awareness. He’s not the kind of player who will rush into a tackle.”

The same reporter shared a thread about the defender recently and it showed that he is above average in his defensive duels by J-League standards, whilst also pointing out that he is improving in his offensive passing – something that is said to suit what Postecoglou is looking for.

This suggests that he would be an ideal partner for Carter-Vickers as the Japanese defender, who has won 68% of his individual battles in 2022, can play an important role in build-up play on his left foot.

Kobayashi, who Sacha Pisani claims has “room to grow“, also has plenty of time left ahead of him to develop and improve at the age of 22, which means that he fits in with what the head coach wants as he has the potential to get better.

Therefore, he could be a terrific signing and Postecoglou should be delighted with the club’s work to agree terms with the centre-back ahead of the January window.

Article title: Celtic closing in on the signing of defender Yuki Kobayashi

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