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Celtic: John Hartson got it horribly wrong on Nadir Ciftci

Celtic have proven themselves astute operators in the transfer market in recent times under current boss Ange Postecoglou, although the Old Firm outfit haven’t always got good value for money over the years, with there having been a number of failed and often costly arrivals at Parkhead.

One such figure who struggled to make an impact in Glasgow was that of former Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci, with then-Hoops boss Ronny Deila forking out £1.5m to land the polarising marksman from Tannadice in the summer of 2015.

The Turkish marksman had proven himself a reliable goalscorer during his two-year stint with the Tangerines – with 33 goals and 20 assists in 82 games across all fronts – although had also developed a reputation for his on-field antics, earning a ban in 2013 for reportedly grabbing an official by the throat in a Scottish League Cup tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The imposing striker – who also reportedly kicked future Bhoys teammate Scott Brown in the head in March 2015 – was also facing another suspension amid his move to Celtic Park, after being accused of biting Dundee’s Jim McAllister at the tail end of the 2014/15 campaign.

Despite that controversy surrounding the one-time Portsmouth man as Deila and co made their move, there were those who still seemingly believed that the centre-forward would be a good fit for the Scottish champions, including pundit John Hartson.

The former Hoops striker had dubbed the incoming addition a “very good player” at the time and suggested that “he could be like Chris Sutton”, as a result of his impressive hold-up play when leading the line, with the Welshman also dismissing concerns about that biting incident.

The comparison to that man Sutton was no doubt high praise indeed, with the one-time Parkhead hero having scored 63 league goals and won three league titles during his time in Scotland, proving a real hit after his £6m arrival from Chelsea in 2000.

The Englishman himself had also seemingly lauded the capture of Ciftci at the time, with the pundit insisting that he thought it was a “really good piece of business” for his former club, while also stating: “I really like him.”

Those two figures would, however, go on to be proved wrong as the promising striker went on to distinctly underwhelm in his new surroundings, after initially seeing his involvement hampered as a result of the seemingly inevitable six-game ban.

The struggling flop would score just four goals in 26 appearances in all competitions for the Old Firm outfit over the next few years, having been shipped out on loan just a matter of months into his time at the club.

The former Turkey U19 international would endure further temporary spells away from his parent club before his eventual exit in the summer of 2018, with Brendan Rodgers and co opting to cut ties with a year still to run on the player’s existing deal.

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First up in this Celtic transfer quiz, which club did Celtic sign Christopher Jullien from?

Now 30, the £248k-rated ace has spent much of the last few seasons back in his homeland since that exit, before making a surprise return to Scottish football in January to join St Johnstone, although failed to score in 12 appearances for Callum Davidson’s side.

The journeyman now plies his trade for Greek second-division side Makedonikos, having failed to ever it the heights that both Hartson – and Sutton – had tipped him to achieve.

Article title: Celtic: John Hartson got it horribly wrong on Nadir Ciftci

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