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Celtic reportedly closing in on deal to sign Yuki Kobayashi

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

What’s the talk?

Ange Postecoglou is, according to reports from Japan, closing in on a deal to bring the defender to Glasgow at the start of 2023 for an undisclosed fee.

Barry Anderson, of the Scotsman, Tweeted: “Celtic set to sign Yuki Kobayashi in January. Left-sided centre-back, 6ft 1in, age 22, likes to play out from defence. Japanese media reporting a deal has now been agreed with his club, Vissel Kobe.”

Sky Sports journalist Anthony Joseph also Tweeted: “As per reports in Japan, Celtic are in talks with Vissel Kobe over centre-back Yuki Kobayashi. The Hoops are hoping to seal the deal and have the 22-year-old join the club in the January transfer window.”

Forget Stephen Welsh

The Daily Mail have reported that there has been interest shown in Welsh in recent windows and a deal to sign Kobayashi could allow Postecoglou to move the Scottish defender on.

Would Kobayashi be a good signing?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Welsh has only started 13 Premiership matches since the start of last season and this suggests that the manager does not believe he is good enough to play regular minutes in the top flight.

Therefore, it would make sense for Celtic to sign a player with the potential to become a key player in the starting XI in the form of Kobayashi.

The 22-year-old Vissel Kobe central defender is a naturally left-footed player and this means that the 6 foot 1 titan could offer more balance to Celtic’s build-up play than the Scottish squad player.

Welsh has been played on the left of the centre-back pairing when he has featured this season and unbalanced the side as he is naturally right-footed, which is why Kobayashi could be more suited to that role as he can open up on his favoured foot to play down the left channel.

1 of 10

First up in this Celtic transfer quiz, which club did Celtic sign Christopher Jullien from?

A-League writer Sacha Pisani provided an insight into the type of player he is, saying: “Yuki’s good in the air. Reads/anticipates game well. Comfortable on ball as left-footer & very good at blocking shots.”

In 2022, Kobayashi has won 68% of his individual duels and completed 86% of his attempted passes across 31 appearances in the J-League. Meanwhile, Welsh has won 57% of his battles and completed 91% of his passes in the Premiership this season.

These statistics suggest that the Vissel Kobe enforcer could be an upgrade on the Celtic man from a defensive perspective, as he is more dominant in one-on-one duels, whilst their passing stats are fairly similar.

Couple this with the comfortability the Japanese gem would have on the left-hand side and you have a clear reason why the Hoops should sign Kobayashi to replace Welsh.

Article title: Celtic reportedly closing in on deal to sign Yuki Kobayashi

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