Deila claims new Celtic signing Nadir Ciftci is long-term project amid fitness concerns

Celtic Stands

Celtic manager Ronny Deila says striker Nadir Ciftci is a long-term project.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told BBC Sport that new signing Nadir Ciftci will be a long-term project, with concerns arising over his fitness.

The Turkish forward, 23, joined the Bhoys from Dundee United earlier this month, and having hit 33 goals in the last two seasons, Ciftci was seen as the man to improve Celtic's attacking options.

Yet so far, Ciftci has yet to find the back of the net for Celtic, and whilst that won't be too much of a concern given that he hasn't played much yet, his fitness is concerning some.

The ex-Portsmouth man was substituted during Wednesday night's 4-1 Champions League second leg win over Icelandic side Stjarnan, coming off for the final 15 minutes - just as he did in the first leg.

That has caused some fans to wonder just how fit Ciftci is right now, but having joined the group late, manager Deila told BBC Sport that the player will be a long-term project - and he will get Ciftci fully fit soon.

"This is not a project for three weeks," said Deila. "This is a project over months. We have a lot of training. We will get him fit," he added.

Having only just arrived at Celtic, it's important that Ciftci has time to not only become familiar with his new team-mates, but also adjust to Deila's training methods.

Deila loves to play a high tempo, high pressing game, which can be physically demanding for players not accustomed to playing in that manner.

So, whilst supporters may be somewhat concerned over Ciftci right now, they just need to give him time to settle in to life in Glasgow, and the goals will start to flow.

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