Why Nadir Ciftci wasn't given a Celtic Park return by St Johnstone boss on Saturday

By David Walton

April 13, 2022

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has stated that a last-gasp injury stopped Nadir Ciftci from making a return to Celtic Park on Saturday.

Ciftci was initially going to be a part of the Saints side that took the Hoops on at Parkhead last weekend in the 7-0 drubbing. Davidson had been talking the Turkish forward up in the build-up to the game too, only for him not to play a part.

The former Dundee United forward signed for the Hoops back in 2015 but never managed to make an impact in his 3 years contracted to the club. Ciftci eventually left permanently in 2018 after several loan spells elsewhere and most recently spent time back home in Turkey before signing for St Johnstone in January.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images

However, as it turns out, Davidson told The Courier Ciftci had actually been struggling with an ankle knock throughout the week and failed to train through it.

“He tried to train through it but it was too sore so he missed the Celtic game. We expect him back in training this week.

“We’ll have a touch week’s training getting ready for the post-split games.”

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Nadir Ciftci looking to rebuild his reputation back in Scotland

Ciftci just never looked like working out at Celtic Park. His unique style just didn’t fit in with Ronny Deila or Brendan Rodgers’ style of play, and it was hardly surprising when he was sent out on his initial loan spell just half a year after arriving at Parkhead.

In the end, he would only make 26 appearances for the club and netted only 4 times [Transfermarkt]. Up against a fully firing Leigh Griffiths, it was always going to be tough for Ciftci to play a big role here.

Since leaving Parkhead he’s really struggled to find a home since. Several short-term deals in Turkey haven’t worked out. To this day, the peak of his career remains his form with Dundee United that prompted Celtic to snap him up.

Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

He’s now back looking to rebuild his reputation once again. Unfortunately, it’s again been a slow start for him as injury has robbed him of making an appearance in several huge games for Saints.

Hopefully, he can get his career back on track and perhaps fire St Johnstone to safety between now and the end of the season. There’s still a substantial period left in the campaign for him to make the impact he’ll believe he’s capable of.

It’s a shame for him that he never got to make his Celtic Park return, but let’s be honest, he has more important goals ahead of him at the moment.

In other news, Daizen Maeda explains how he reaches his insane Celtic energy levels