Eboue Kouassi: Celtic team-mate sold me on move to Parkhead
The 19-year-old midfielder joined the Ladbrokes Premiership side from Russian outfit Krasnodar on a four-year deal, for a reported fee of £2.8million.
Speaking through an interpreter in his first media conference at Celtic Park as a Hoops player, Kouassi revealed the counsel given to him by the vastly experienced Toure - who joined Brendan Rodgers’ side last summer.
Kouassi said: “When I heard Celtic were interested I was happy because Celtic is a club with a big history so I was happy to learn that they were interested in me.
“Kolo gave me some advice, the main thing was not to hesitate, just come to Celtic, it is a great club, it is a fantastic club.
“He told me that they will look after you and make you progress, make you an even better player than you are at the moment.
“There are loads of great players who have come to Celtic before like Victor Wanyama and Bobo Balde and it has a great coach at the moment.
“All I am interested in is making progress and I really feel this is the best place for me to progress.”
Unlike Toure, Kouassi is as yet uncapped at full level but confident his move to Celtic will facilitate those dreams, saying, “this will have an impact on my international career with Ivory Coast.”
Kouassi played Europa League football with Krasnodar but is looking forward to making the step up to the Champions League with Celtic, who are odds on to win the Ladbrokes Premiership for the sixth time in a row and would therefore land a place in the qualifiers next season.
He said: “When I was a small kid in Africa, to be honest I did not know much about Celtic.
“But as soon as I grew up and when football was obviously going to be my career I started to watch Champions League games and then you can’t help but notice a club like Celtic.
“I recall in particular watching Celtic beat Barcelona here (in 2012) and more recently the game against Manchester City and Barcelona again.
“To think that I am here when I was watching them on television is something.”
Asked about reports that he had arrived in Scotland with malaria, he said: “The club wanted to send me to hospital as a precautionary measure but everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about.”