Ayub Timbe: Kenya winger debuts for Vissel Kobe in draw against Shonan Bellmare

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Ayub Timbe debuts for Vissel Kobe and Kenya of Harambee Stars.
Goal Kenya.
The speedy winger was introduced in the second half for the first time since signing for the Japanese club in a league match

Kenya winger Ayub Timbe finally featured for Vissel Kobe after he came on as a second-half substitute in a 0-0 draw against Shonan Bellmare during a Japanese league match on Saturday.

The speedy winger completed his transfer to the Japanese club on March 1, 2020, but he was later unveiled on April 11, and he had to wait until April 17 to feature for the side in the draw at Hiratsuka Kyujo Stadium.

Timbe, who was without a club since mid-October 2020 after he parted ways with Beijing Renhe before signing for Kobe, came on in the 66th minute but he could not help his side to snatch a win.

Before the match, Kobe took to their social media pages to confirm Timbe was making the squad for the first time and also confirmed he will wear jersey number 40 during his stay with the team.

“In the squad for the first time today is Ayub Timbe,” wrote the club.

The club then appreciated the player on making his debut when he came on as they wrote: “Congratulations on your Vissel debut Ayub Timbe.”

The draw left Vissel Kobe, who are captained by Andres Iniesta, in position three on the 20-team table with 19 points from 10 matches while Kawasaki are topping the log on 31 points from 11 matches while Nagoya are second on 26 points from 10 matches.

On signing for the team, Timbe, who also played for EFL Championship side Reading on loan from Renhe, revealed how Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga played a hand in his transfer to Kobe.

“When I was in China I remember watching some of the Vissel Kobe games, there is one game I was so impressed about the team and since then I said to myself Kobe is really a good team and then you guys had Iniesta, you also had Lukas [Podolski], and I was always having this feeling it is a good club,” Timbe said during the interview recorded by Kobe Online TV.

“I also remember talking to my colleague Michael [Olunga] while on national team duty and he was like if you really want to go to Japan and you want a good team, it is Vissel Kobe, it is one of the best teams, like in everything, in the players, in the facilities just everything, so I just had a good feeling with the club before I even I joined.”

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Timbe continued: “Almost everywhere, like when I was in Belgium and also England and when I was in Kenya, if you ask anyone do you know any club in Japan, they will say Vissel [Kobe], everyone and for me, it was easy to pick the team when they came for my services.”

Olunga left a mark in Japan while playing for Kashiwa Reysol after he won the Golden Boot in the 2020 J1 League season, when he netted 28 goals in 32 games, and went ahead to lift the Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first African to do so in Japan.

The former Gor Mahia, Thika United, and Tusker forward has since left for Al Duhail SC of Qatar and his performances in the Far East are expected to place considerable pressure on Timbe.