FORMER Celtic striker Chris Sutton has backed Nadir Ciftci to be a massive hit at Parkhead.
The ex-England international reckons his old club have landed themselves a bargain and that the 23-year-old Turkish frontman has what it takes to become a great Hoops player.
Sutton said: “I do like Ciftci. People talk about his temperament, but we have all made mistakes. He’s a young player and I like him as a footballer first and foremost.
“He is a different type for Celtic. He uses his body particularly well, can link up the play and scores some outstanding goals.
“I think he will develop. It’s a big opportunity for him. But for £1.5million, I think that’s a really good piece of business from Celtic. If you look throughout Britain, who could you sign with a pedigree for £10million or £15million who could guarantee you goals?
“I don’t think there are many strikers out there. Look at Mario Balotelli who went to Liverpool last season for £16million.
“Celtic don’t play in that league any more, they don’t pretend they can, so they have to buy players who they think have potential and who they can develop such as Dedryk Boyata and Saidy Janko.
“Ciftci is the same. I think he will get a chance. I am aware that there was some disappointment from Celtic fans when he signed, I think it’s fair to say, and then after Friday night against Real Sociedad he is the greatest thing.
“Balance is the key and we will have to wait and see, but I don’t think you can underestimate what he can do.”
Sutton, Martin O’Neill’s first signing when he arrived after a £6million deal from Chelsea in the summer of 2000, knows that Ciftci, who is likely to start on the bench against Stjarnan tomorrow night, will have to curb some of his more excessive on-field behaviour.
However, he would not want to see the striker completely change because it would take away from him as a footballer.
Sutton added: “He has to mature as a player. I am sure he will do. This is a big opportunity for him, but I don’t think he’s daft.
“He has made mistakes, but I like players who have fire in their belly and he just needs to control that. There are going to be times when he does overstep the mark.
“I look back over the course of time to players I played with. There was John Hartson, Neil Lennon, Craig Bellamy, they were players who, without that edge, would have been lesser players.
“Ciftci is that type. More importantly, it’s about what he can bring to Celtic with his attributes. I like him, I said right away he is a good signing and I think he’ll prove that.
“I don’t think it’s going to be dull with him, whatever happens.”

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