NADIR CIFTCI has seen Celtic hammer in 11 goals in his four appearance for the team – and the £1.3million Turkish striker is still waiting to get on the scoresheet.
He made his debut in the friendly against Real Sociedad only 24 hours after signing from Dundee United. The frontman helped set up his former Tannadice team-mate Gary Mackay-Steven for the only goal of the game at St Mirren Park.
Then he started in the Champions League qualifier first leg against Iceland’s Stjarnan a week ago and saw defender Dedryck Boyata and Stefan Johansen score the goals in the 2-0 triumph.
He was off target, too, in the 75th anniversary of La Liga outfit SD Eibar at the weekend when Leigh Griffiths rattled in a hat-trick and Efe Ambrose claimed the other in a 4-1 success.
And it was the same story in Iceland last night when Nir Bitton, Charlie Mulgrew, Griffiths and Johansen were the men who mattered in another 4-1 triumph.
Ciftci has had opportunities in all four games, but has yet to hit the crucial breakthrough goal.
However, Hoops boss Ronny Deila isn’t too concerned. He admitted: “This is not a project for three weeks. This is a project over months.”
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Ciftci’s progress won’t be helped by his six-game ban, but Deila pointed out that games every week in Champions League qualifying would keep the 23-year-old frontman match sharp.
The attacker has been substituted in both tie against Stjarnan after starting, but Deila added: “We have a lot of training. We will get him fit.”
On the next qualifying test against Qarabag, of Azerbeijan, Deila admitted he was not concerned about having to play the first leg on Wednesday at home.
He added: “You have to take what you get. If you’re going to go to the Champions League, you have to beat the opponents in front of you.
“It’s going to be an interesting game.”