Celtic target Yuki Kobayashi helps out teammate's recovery with impromptu Vissel training session

By John McGinley

November 19, 2022

The Japanese football season is over but Celtic target Yuki Kobayashi went the extra mile to help out a teammate recovering from injury, taking part in an impromptu training session at Vissel Kobe yesterday.

Right-back Nanasei Iino suffered a painful calf muscle injury back in September which ruled him out for the closing stages of the season and it’s been two months of rehab for him since then. Now though, he’s feeling well enough to train and called in a small group to raise the intensity of his recovery.

Iino posted a thankful message on Instagram, tagging Kobayashi who was also in the group photo, stating: “Blame it on me! Even after the season ended, thanks to Takahashi, Yokohama, Nagito, Ryun, and Taka-san and Coach Taka we’re training together, we were able to practice high-intensity! It’s a full recovery! Thank you everyone.”

It has been widely reported in Japan that young Vissel defender Kobayashi is on the way to Celtic in the January transfer window, though there has been no confirmation from either club that this is the case.

Kobayashi’s contract is expiring and Japanese reports indicate that he is set to complete a Bhoys medical before joining up with four of his compatriots in Glasgow.

If the 22-year-old is heading to Scotland, it would make sense that he’d want to keep his fitness levels high in the off-season with January football coming much sooner than the J-League restart in February.

Similarly, he may well just be helping out a friend here.

The potential move is reminiscent of deals for Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi last January, which had been sorted out weeks in advance of the transfer window opening.

Hopefully, he can also make an impact on Scottish football as Ange Postecoglou looks to start a new phase of his Celtic era and accelerate progress to an elite European level.

In other news, SPFL and SFA release ‘enormous consequences’ statement as Celtic await government process.