Nadir Ciftci Signs for Celtic: A Step in What Direction?

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With Nadir Ciftci’s £1.5 million move from Dundee United to Celtic, many fans have understandably been split down the middle pondering over the new Bhoy. Is he what Celtic need? Are there better players out there? Is he even that good? The answer to all of these questions are left up for debate, but the striker will certainly provide entertainment for the Hoops.

Ciftci has become the fourth player to join this summer along with goalkeeper Logan Bailly and defenders Dedryk Boyata and Saidy Janko as Ronny Deila looks to strengthen his attacking options.

There was once a time when Celtic didn’t end up on Dundee United’s doorstep to sign players: Mackay-Stevens and Armstrong both joining the club in January. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though and if these signings are anything to go by then Ciftci should pay off, many fans will sing the praises of the ex-Tannadice players.

Boss Ronny Deila will want to prove the worth of his signing from the off in August but there could be a lengthy ban placed on the striker following a Suarez-like biting incident on the last day of the season versus Dundee. A decision will be made on 20th July by the Scottish Football Association. It’s certainly not the first time Celtic fans will be used to their strikers being involved in the headlines for the wrong reasons — Leigh Griffiths and Anthony Stokes have both been charged by the SFA in recent years. The only thing that matters, though, is that the player scores goals. This is something Ciftci has to offer.

For the last two seasons, the Turk has averaged a goal or assist every 118 minutes for Dundee United; fairly impressive for a 23 year old. One thing every fan will agree on is that Celtic need a consistent goal scorer throughout the league, cup and (hopefully) Champions League campaign. Last season, John Guidetti looked like he solved this problem when he was scoring for fun in all competitions. But after a goal drought which saw the Swede score once in eleven games — albeit a beautiful equaliser vs Inter Milan — Guidetti dropped to the bench, groaned and Griffiths came in; who in fairness has had a fantastic 2015. Whether he can do this all season long is another question though and Ciftci will certainly want to prove he can do this at Celtic Park.

He’s a proven goal scorer at this level: quick, strong and a pest to any defence in the SPFL. Perhaps summed up as a player you’d hate to play against but would love to have in your own team. He’ll add that terrier-like quality which Celtic never really filled the gap with when Gary Hooper departed in 2013. Bearing similarities in his game play, if the new man controls his head then he has the potential to be a 20 goal-a-season striker.

Celtic fans have to remember too that Ciftci is a young player who will learn at one of the biggest clubs in Europe. When the player joins up with the squad, he’ll be surrounded by players who he needs to learn from and if he has any sense about him then he’ll learn from his past mistakes.

Ex-Celt Joe Miller also backs Captain Scott Brown to sort out any problems Ciftci could cause, stating: “If boys step out of line they don’t last there.” He adds “The quality around him will maybe bring him down a peg or two. He will be there to learn and maybe enhance his game. He will learn more. It’s all about his development and I think he will do well.”

Ciftci could get his chance straight away to prove to Celtic fans he’s the right man; the first Champions League qualifier comes against Icelandic Stjarnan on July 15th. After last season’s joke of a qualifying campaign, Celtic will be desperate to not slip up against any European minnows.

The least that can be said about this transfer is that it’s a piece in the jigsaw: whether it’s the right piece or not is something we’ll soon find out soon. Let’s hope he’s a Turkish delight.