Celtic must look to Dundee United man as Samaras replacement

Celtic Parkhead

Nadir Ciftci is arguably the most exciting young striker in Scotland and just the man to fill the boots of Georgios Samaras at Celtic Park.

As Celtic manager Neil Lennon prepares to say goodbye to Bhoys hero Georgios Samaras this summer, the Hoops boss shouldn’t be too disheartened because there’s a cut-price replacement ready and waiting in the wings at Dundee United: Nadir Ciftci.

Previously on the books of Portsmouth as a teenager and with spells at Kayserispor in Turkey and NAC Breda in Holland to his name, it’s fair to say that the 22-year-old has had a nomadic career to date, but that all changed when he arrived at Tannadice.

Signed on a two-year deal after a successful trial, the Turkish striker has played an instrumental role in Dundee United’s success this season, linking up well with exciting youngsters like Ryan Gauld and, most importantly of all, scoring goals.

A tally of 11 in 30 games for the Terrors has caught the attention of many football fans north of the border, while Ciftci has also garnered praise from his teammates for a series of all-action displays.

“We feel, quite honestly, that there is no striker in the league that we would rather have in our side than Nadir — it’s as simple as that,” teammate Paul Paton explained in an interview with Ian Roache for the Courier.

“He is a big, physical boy but fast with it, is good in the air and has a good touch, and he scores goals.”

Despite the accolades heaped on the 22-year-old, there has been little suggestion of a bid from Hoops manager Lennon, though that situation could well change.

The Northern Irishman previously made no secret of his desire to hold on to Samaras, but this week appeared to admit defeat in his bid to keep the forward at Celtic Park, something that could open the door for Ciftci.

He certainly possesses all of the necessary attributes to fill the void left by the Greek and may even enhance Celtic’s forward line further given the skill and speed he has in abundance.

The Turkish forward would most certainly be open to a move to Parkhead too, with Celtic star Pierre van Hoojidonk counted among his friends and heroes.

Ciftci was certainly impressed by the atmosphere on his trip to Glasgow, ranking the visit to Celtic Park among his most favourite of the season so far in an interview with the Daily Record.

For now though, the ball is very much in Lennon’s court.

Should Celtic be bidding for Nadir Ciftci?

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