Celtic have secured the signing of Nicolas Kuhn, a talented winger from Rapid Vienna, on a long-term deal. The 24-year-old German has joined the Scottish champions for a fee of £3m and will wear the number 11 shirt. Kuhn is Brendan Rodgers’ first addition in the January transfer window as he looks to strengthen his squad for the second half of the season.
Kuhn’s journey from Bayern to Celtic
Kuhn started his career at Bayern Munich, where he played for the youth teams and was part of the squad that won the UEFA Youth League in 2018. He then moved to Ajax, where he made his senior debut in the Eredivisie and the Champions League. However, he struggled to establish himself in the Dutch side and was loaned out to Rapid Vienna in 2020.
At Rapid, Kuhn rediscovered his form and confidence, scoring three goals and providing seven assists in 18 appearances this season. He also impressed in the Europa League, where he helped Rapid reach the knockout stages. His performances attracted the attention of Celtic, who agreed a deal with Rapid earlier this month.
Kuhn’s ambitions and expectations at Celtic
Kuhn has expressed his delight at joining Celtic, saying that he was drawn by the club’s history, fanbase and ambition. He said: “I feel great that I’m finally here and I can’t wait. Celtic is one of the biggest clubs around and I’m really happy to be here. I am really motivated to do well for this great club and I want to get working immediately as we face our challenges in the League and the Cup this year, so I’m really excited for what’s coming.”
Kuhn also revealed that he had other offers from other clubs, but he chose Celtic because he believes it is the best place for his development and career. He said: “For me it was clear the moment Celtic called and showed interest that I wanted to come here. There was some interest from other clubs. But the moment I received the message, I didn’t really think about going somewhere else. I want to play in the Champions League and go to the national team. Now I made a big step to a big club. Of course in the future I want to play for the national team, that was a point in why I came here.”
Kuhn also admitted that his transfer to Celtic was “stressful” and that he faced some “problems” in leaving Vienna. He said: “When I was at Vienna still, there were some problems with coming here. It took a little bit longer than expected so I had to wait the whole time to take a flight here. Then it was getting really fast, I had to do the medical check and fly to Glasgow, then I had all the pictures in the evening. Yesterday was my first time at the club and today was my first training session so there were a lot of things to do.”
Kuhn’s style and role at Celtic
Kuhn is a versatile and dynamic winger who can play on both flanks. He is known for his pace, dribbling, creativity and work ethic. He likes to cut inside and shoot with his left foot, but he can also cross and link up with his teammates. He has been compared to former Celtic star James Forrest, who left the club last summer to join Southampton.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has praised Kuhn’s quality and potential, saying that he fits well into his style of play. He said: “We are delighted to welcome Nicolas to Celtic. We believe he is a dynamic player who has an excellent level of quality and all the attributes to fit well into our style of play. He has the profile we are looking for, he has a real attacking intent, a player with great pace and ideas, the ability to create and score goals and a player with a great energy and work ethic. He is someone who can play wide on both sides so he brings with him that versatility for us too, and myself and the coaches here really look forward to working with him.”
Kuhn is expected to compete with the likes of Mikey Johnston, Liel Abada and Jota for a place in Celtic’s starting line-up. He could make his debut in Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie against Highland League side Buckie Thistle.