The Thomas Vermaelen link to Yuki Kobayashi that should have Celtic fans excited for the future

By Hamish Carton

November 25, 2022

New Celtic signing Yuki Kobayashi’s history with Thomas Vermaelen should have Hoops fans excited.

Kobayashi became Ange Postecoglou’s latest signing earlier this week, joining from Japanese top-flight side Vissel Kobe.

As we found out with Kyogo Furuhashi over a year ago, the Kobe outfit have had plenty of familiar names on their books in recent times.

Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images

And while Kyogo had Andres Iniesta in his camp, it seems like another former Barcelona player has had a part to play in Kobayashi’s rise.

“He had a year with Vermaelen at Vissel Kobe,’ Japanese football expert Sam Robson explained to me.

“He was always going to be behind him. But to learn from someone like Vermaelen, who in terms of profile of a left-sided centre-back, there haven’t been many that have been better than him.

“He took over from him at the Euros when Vermaelen was still called up. Had a good spell there.

“Then this season, it’s been a tumultuous season for Kobe but I think he’ll have learned a lot from playing pretty much every game again this year.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

“I definitely think he’s modelled his game on that sort of player. Vermaelen or Vertonghen.”

It’s exciting to hear that Kobayashi has both modelled his game on, and played with, Vermaelen.

The Belgian’s ability to play on the left of a centre-back pairing would be perfect for Celtic right now, next to Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Here’s hoping that Kobayashi is the real deal.

The full interview with Sam Robson will be out on our YouTube channel in the coming days…

In other news, Cameron Carter-Vickers has been chatting about Josip Juranovic’s ‘Fireball’ song