Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe Masika says he consulted teammate Michael Olunga ahead of his transfer to Japanese club Vissel Kobe.
The 28-year-old forward was officially unveiled by the Japanese top-flight side on March 1, 2021, after staying out of club action since October last year when he parted ways with Beijing Renhe.
Speaking during a one-on-one interview, the speedy winger said he spoke about his potential move to Japan with Olunga, who spoke highly of the J1 side that is captained by former Barcelona midfield maestro Andres Iniesta.
“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.
“I 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.”
Olunga made his mark in Japan over the past three seasons, scoring 58 goals in 72 appearances for Kashiwa Reysol.
The towering Harambee Stars striker won the Golden Boot in the 2020 J1 League season after netting 28 goals in 32 games. He went ahead to lift the Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first African player to win the J-league MVP award.
Olunga is also remembered for scoring eight goals in a 13–1 victory over Kyoto Sanga on 24 November 2019.