BULGARIAN international forward Aleksandar Tonev was yet another underwhelming signing during Ronny Deial’s two-year stint.

The versatile midfielder/winger arrived in August 2014 on a year-long loan from Aston Villa.

Tonev didn’t get off the most encouraging starts during his new career in Glasgow. Boss Deila needed cover for James Forrest, suffering a succession of injuries, but, ironically, the new Bhoy sustained a pre-season knock and was out for a month.

He eventually made his debut in a 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead in September, but, unfortunately, although he took the headlines afterwards it was not for football-related matters.

Dons defender Shay Logan claimed Tonev had racially abused him during the match. The new Celt strongly denied the allegations. There were no witnesses to the alleged incident, but, amazingly, the Bulgarian was found guilty by the SFA and banned for an astonishing NINE games.

ON THE BALL…Aleksandar Tonev on the run.

It was later cut to seven when the player’s previous good conduct was taken into consideration.

Celtic launched an appeal against the incredible judgement with Tonev continuing to protest his innocence. The SFA rejected the plea and the suspension stood.

The on-loan Villa forward made a total of 14 appearances for the Hoops and one of the last was as a late substitute in the controversial 3-2 Scottish Cup semi-final loss against Inverness Caley Thistle.

Near the end, with Deila’s players crowding into the penalty box as they desperately sought an equaliser, Tonev was presented with the ideal opportunity to put the ball into the danger zone.

Alas, he launched a cross into orbit and as the ball floated serenely in the general direction of the stadium car park, any chances of a permanent contract went with it it.

After quitting Villa that summer, the 29 times-capped international moved to Italy with Frosinone and Crotone in Serie A and then returned in 2018 to his homeland with Botev Plovdiv.

Two years later, at the age of 32, he retired from playing.

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the adventures of another former Celt in CQN’s EXCLUSIVE series.

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