Colin Kazim-Richards was a shock signing for Celtic in the January transfer window, joining the Scottish giants in a surprise deal on deadline day.
The Turkish international striker has moved back to Britain after a lengthy spell away, plying his trade across Turkey, France and Holland. Having fallen out at former club Feyenoord, the 29-year old has penned a two-and-a-half year deal at Celtic Park, bolstering their attacking options.
It was a sour end to his time with the Eredivisie giants after he was handed a two week suspension for threatening a Dutch journalist who had dared to query his attitude. Though born in England, and having spent the majority of his early career on these shores, the former Fenerbahce forward may not be the most well known due to his travels on the continent.
An experienced Turkish international, with 37 caps to his name, he arrives in Glasgow with quite the reputation, though not all of it for the right reasons. However, he will have no doubt helped the bedding in process by notching against East Kilbride on just his second game for the club.
In order to shed some light on the matter, here are FIVE things Celtic fans need to know about Colin Kazim-Richards…
There’s plenty to discuss about his off the field antics, but Bhoys fans will no doubt be far more interested in hearing about what their new man can provide on the pitch.
At 6ft 1, the 29-year old is a handful in the air. Across 11 games in Holland this season, he won 10 of the 21 aerial duels he attempted.
Neil Warnock, who managed him at Sheffield United, believes ‘he’s got a lot going for him and will bring a lot to Celtic.’
‘He’s very decent in the air, he goes straight at people.’
Part of what has made Kazim-Richards such a hot property on the continent over the years is his ability to play across the frontline. While most traditionally a bruising centre-forward, the former Arsenal trainee can be deployed in wider areas.
Across 48 appearances as a right sided winger, the former Brighton star has notched 9 goals. Barely prolific, but his physical and direct style allows him to be an effective provider of support in the final third.
New teammate Leigh Giffiths has already waxed lyrical about the partnership the two could soon embark on. Despite the fact manager Ronny Deila tends to prefer a 4-2-3-1 formation with just the one frontman, Giffiths can see the potential.
“If we do play two up top he is going to drag the bigger centre-halves away from me and onto him’, stated the Scotland international.
‘He likes to have a physical battle with them whereas I am the kind of guy who can play on the shoulder and go in behind defences and try and stretch them.’
While his ‘bad boy’ reputation is often centred around his off-field controversies, such a fiery character can excite fans.
One thing that cannot be levelled at the ex-Galatasaray and Toulouse forward is a lack of personality.
Bert Konterman, the former Rangers defender, believes ‘Feyenoord fans loved him as he always causing fights and emotion on the pitch, especially when the team was in a difficult stage in the game.’
The FC Twente youth coach also goes on to describe him as ‘a hard worker who uses his body, fights and finishes.’
The Turkey star is certain to ruffle a few feathers in Scotland, endearing himself to the Parkhead faithful if he does it the right way. With such a passionate support, he can become a real cult hero.
A fiery character and big personality is all well and good when channeled in the correct manner, and while everyone deserves a fresh start, it seems silly not to mention his off-field controversy.
As mentioned, he was recently suspended in the Netherlands for threatening a journalist who questioned his attitude.
That was not the first blotch on his disciplinary record, which also contains such events like swearing at a referee in Turkey and being banned for four matches.
Not only that, but he was also found guilty for a reportedly homophobic gesture made to Brighton fans while on loan at Blackburn Rovers in 2012.