Ayub Timbe: Harambee Stars forward completes Vissel Kobe transfer |

The winger has been without a club since he left Beijing Renhe of China in October 2020

Kenya international Ayub Timbe has finally completed a move to Japan’s top club, Vissel Kobe.

The winger has been without a club since mid-October 2020 but, as Goal had reported earlier, he has officially joined the J1 League side that is captained by Andres Iniesta.

The Harambee Star expressed his happiness upon making the move official; “New beginning. New Mindset. New Focus. New Start. New intentions. New results,” Timbe said on a Facebook post.

“First of all, I want to thank the club for the trust to allow me to join them. It is a great feeling to be part of the Kobe family and I cannot wait to get started. See you soon,” the forward said in a video posted by the club.

The two parties are yet to give details around the new deal for the Kenyan star.

Vissel Kobe have won various honours including being in the top-tier for 16, 11 seasons in the second-tier, two seasons in the third and eight seasons in the Regional Leagues. Timbe will now play alongside former Barcelona stars Iniesta and defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Timbe is now the second high-profile Harambee Star to join a Japanese club after Michael Olunga. The latter star won the Golden Boot in the 2020 J1 League season after netting 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 Thika United and Tusker forward has since left for Al-Duhail of Qatar and his performances in the Far East are expected to place considerable pressure on Timbe.

Timbe, who has served a number of clubs across continents, is set to face huge expectations at Vissel Kobe especially given how his international teammate Olunga performed.

At Beijing Renhe, a club he joined in February 2017, he scored eight goals in the maiden season with them and helped the club earn promotion to the Chinese Super League.

In the subsequent season, he was loaned to Heilongjiang Lava Spring, a second-their club, even after he had scored seven goals in 14 games in the top-flight for Beijing Renhe.

He was to complete a deadline day loan transfer move to English Championship club Reading on January 30, 2020.

Reading did not extend his loan move beyond the six months that was initially agreed on, and Timbe moved back to Beijing Renhe.

In Europe, Timbe was also at Genk but was loaned out to Lierse between 2014 and 2016 where he went ahead to make 42 appearances and scored eight goals for the Belgian side.

The performance saw Lierse make his move permanent and the player stayed with them for one year between 2016 and 2017.

From Belgium, the Harambee Star joined Renhe where he enjoyed a good outing in 2017 as he scored 17 goals in 49 matches.

The winger was involved in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Comoros in 2020 where Kenya ended up dropping points that would have taken them close to securing back-to-back qualification slots.

In the first match, Comoros held Kenya to a 1-1 draw in Nairobi before they went on to pick up a 2-1 win in Moroni. Timbe came under severe criticism for how he performed against the Islanders especially in the second match.

It remains to be seen whether Kenya head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee – who has already selected local players to prepare for the qualifiers – would consider him for the final ties against Egypt and Togo. 

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