Nadir Çiftçi

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Nadir Çiftçi
Personal information
Full name Nadir Çiftçi
Date of birth (1992-02-15) 15 February 1992 (age 25)
Place of birth Karakoçan, Turkey[1]
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Celtic
Number 7
Youth career
2003 Haaglandia
2003–2007 ADO Den Haag
2007–2010 Portsmouth
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2011 Portsmouth 19 (1)
2011–2012 Kayserispor 11 (0)
2012–2013 NAC Breda 7 (0)
2013–2015 Dundee United 68 (25)
2015– Celtic 12 (4)
2016 Eskişehirspor (loan) 12 (4)
2017 Pogoń Szczecin (loan) 8 (0)
National team
2008 Netherlands U17 2 (0)
2011 Turkey U19 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:04, 8 June 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 August 2011

Nadir Çiftçi (born 12 February 1992) is a Turkish footballer who plays as a forward for Celtic. He has previously played for Portsmouth in England, Kayserispor in Turkey and NAC Breda in the Netherlands, before moving to Scotland in 2013 to play for Dundee United. He also had a spell on loan at Eskişehirspor during the 2015–16 season.

He has represented the Netherlands under-17 team before switching national allegiance to the country of his birth, Turkey. He has since played for the Turkey under-19 team.

Club career[edit]

Portsmouth[edit]

Çiftçi moved from Dutch side ADO Den Haag to Portsmouth at the start of the 2007–08 Premier League season when he was just 15 years of age for a fee of around £80,000.[3] He signed professional terms in June 2010. After an impressive pre-season tour of the United States, he made his the first-team debut on 7 August 2010 as a substitute in a 2–0 defeat against Coventry City.[4] On his first competitive start for Portsmouth, Çiftçi scored his first goal for the club against Stevenage on 9 August 2010 in the first round of the League Cup. This goal proved vital for Portsmouth as they won the match 2–1.[5]

He scored the opener in Portsmouth's first home game against Reading in the 2010–11 Championship season, his second goal in three competitive games.[6] Following the arrival of Liam Lawrence, Çiftçi's playing time became more limited, but manager Steve Cotterill was reluctant to send him out on loan due to the club's lack of squad depth.[7] He finished the season making 22 appearances (17 as substitute) and scoring two goals in all competitions.[8]

Kayserispor and NAC Breda[edit]

On 14 May 2011, Çiftçi turned down the offer of a new contract with Portsmouth and signed with Turkish club Kayserispor. Because of his age, Portsmouth received £100,000 for the transfer.[9] His contract was mutually terminated in June 2012[10] before trialling at NAC Breda[11] and former club ADO Den Haag.[12]

Following a trial, Çiftçi joined NAC Breda in August 2012 on a three-year contract.[13] After one season, Çiftçi would leave the club.[14]

Dundee United[edit]

On 2 July 2013, Çiftçi went on trial to Scottish Premiership club Dundee United.[15] On 25 July, he joined United on a two-year contract.[16] Two days later, he scored for Dundee United with a stunning strike, in a 1–0 win against Wigan Athletic in a pre-season friendly.[17]

Çiftçi scored his first competitive goals for Dundee United on 28 August 2013 in their 3–2 win in the League Cup second round tie against Dumbarton; he came on as a second-half substitute and quickly equalised before going on to score the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game.[8][18] On 15 September 2013, Çiftçi scored his first league goal for Dundee United against Ross County. He followed this up seven days later with another goal, against Motherwell. On 5 October 2013, Çiftçi scored a twenty-yard volley low and hard without the ball hitting the ground, which proved to be the winner against Kilmarnock.[8]

On 29 October 2013, Çiftçi was red-carded as Dundee United lost 2–1 against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup. On 1 November 2013, with Dundee United having appealed against the ordering off, Çiftçi was then accused of grabbing an assistant referee by the throat and grabbing the face of an Inverness player during the same match.[19] On 7 November 2013, the SFA judiciary panel ruled that the charge of grabbing the opponent was unproven and also reduced his red card to a yellow card.[20] On 3 December 2013, Çiftçi was given a two-match suspension by the SFA, with one of those matches suspended until the end of the season. This was after the initial charge of "seizing hold" of the assistant referee "by the throat" was amended to "excessive misconduct at a match by placing an open hand into the lower area of the assistant referee's throat".[21]

He finished the season with eleven goals in the league, helping Dundee United to a fourth-place finish.[8][22] Çiftçi's four goals in the Scottish Cup during 2014, including Dundee United's third goal in a 3–1 Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Rangers on 10 April 2014, helped United reach the final.[8][23] However, Dundee United were beaten 2-0 by St Johnstone in the final on 17 May 2014, although Çiftçi came close to scoring early in the second half when he hit the post from a free kick.[24]

He scored the first goal of his second season with Dundee United in a 2–1 home league win over Ross County on 23 August 2014, opening the scoring in the first half with a header from a Paul Paton free kick.[8][25] His next goal came three weeks later in a 2–2 draw with Hamilton Accies,[8] but was sent off the same game just before half time after receiving two bookings.[26] Çiftçi continued to score regularly for United,[8] and played a pivotal role in his side's 2–1 win league win over Celtic in December 2014. He was booked in the opening minute for a foul on Scott Brown, then opened the scoring four minutes later, taking advantage of Efe Ambrose's fresh-air swipe at a deflected Stuart Armstrong pass, and using his strength and close control to hold off the Celtic defender and fire a shot past Craig Gordon.[27][28] He then provided the assist for United's second goal, crossing from the right wing to Armstrong who headed past Gordon in goal.[28] Çiftçi finished the season with 16 goals in all competitions, and scored twice in the last game of the season, a 3–0 win over city rivals Dundee.[8]

During his time with Dundee United, Çiftçi garnered a reputation for indiscipline; aside from his red cards against Inverness and Hamilton Accies, he was also accused of kicking Celtic's Scott Brown on the head during a bad tempered Scottish Cup tie in March 2015[29] and then at the end of the season he was cited for "excessive misconduct" after been accused of biting Dundee's Jim McAlister on the leg in May 2015.[30] A disciplinary panel subsequently found him guilty of the offence, giving him an eight-match ban with two suspended.[31]

At the end of the 2014–15 season, he was linked with both Middlesbrough and Celtic.[32] On 7 July 2015 Dundee United confirmed that they had accepted £1.5 million bid from Celtic and had allowed the player to speak to the Glasgow club regarding a transfer.[33]

Celtic[edit]

Celtic confirmed the signing of Çiftçi on 9 July 2015, with the player signing a four-year contract.[34] He chose to wear the number 7, which has previously been worn by club legends Jimmy Johnstone and Henrik Larsson.[35] He made his debut the day after signing, coming on as a substitute in a pre-season friendly against Real Sociedad and providing the assist for Gary Mackay-Steven's goal in a 1–0 win.[36]

Çiftçi started each of Celtic's first four Champions League qualifier games, but failed to score so was dropped to the bench for the first leg of the play-off round against Malmö.[8] He came off the bench at the closing stages, and received a booking near the end of the game. Malmö defender Rasmus Bengtsson criticised Çiftçi after the game, stating that he "was not particularly nice" and that "the first thing he wanted to do when he came on was to talk. He had more focus on that than his performance."[37] Çiftçi missed Celtic's first six league matches of the season due to suspension, but eventually scored his first goal for the club during a 6–0 win over Dundee on 20 September 2015, having also provided an assist for Scott Brown's goal in the game.[38]

Çiftçi was chosen by manager Ronny Deila to start in the Scottish Premiership match against St Johnstone on 13 December 2015, in place of the injured Leigh Griffiths. He scored two goals as Celtic won 3–0.[39]

Eskişehirspor (loan)[edit]

By the end of January 2016, Çiftçi had only scored four goals in 22 matches, albeit most of his appearances were from the substitutes bench.[40] On 1 February 2016, it was reported that Celtic had lined up a loan move for Çiftçi for the rest of the season to Turkish club Eskişehirspor.[40] The loan deal was confirmed by Deila the following day during a press conference, with the Celtic manager stating that "Nadir was very keen to get out and play consistently" and adding "He's a young player and we felt it was a good idea and he will be back again in the summer."[41]

Çiftçi made his debut for the Turkish club on 7 February 2016 in a Süper Lig match away at Çaykur Rizespor. However, he only lasted 34 minutes before being substituted for Vladyslav Kulach in a tactical switch.[42] He was sent off in his next match a week later, a league match at home against Antalyaspor, after picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute.[8][43] Çiftçi returned to the side on 13 March and scored his first goal for the club;[8] running past two challenges before playing a one-two and shooting in a low drive for the opening goal in a 3–3 draw with Akhisar Belediyespor. The game ended in a mass brawl between the opposing sides, with Çiftçi seen to argue with Bruno Mezenga amongst the on-field chaos.[44]

Pogoń Szczecin (loan)[edit]

On 16 February 2017, Ciftci joined Polish club Pogoń Szczecin on a loan deal until the end of the season.[45] He had a disappointing spell there after failing to net a single goal in eight appearances. In the start of June 2017, Ciftci suffered an ankle injury and was sent back home to Celtic.[46]

International career[edit]

Although Çiftçi has represented the Netherlands at youth level,[47] he has chosen to play for Turkey. In November 2010, Turkey national team coach Guus Hiddink met Çiftçi to persuade him to switch his national allegiance to Turkey,[48] and subsequently received a call-up after Çiftçi announced his desire to play for the country.[49]

On 8 March 2011, Çiftçi made his debut for Turkey, at under-19 level, in the match against Montenegro. This game ended 3–0.[50]

On 10 March 2011, Çiftçi scored his first goal for under-19, in the match against Montenegro. This game ended 3–3.[51] On 2 July 2013, Pierre van Hooijdonk revealed that Çiftçi was about to make his senior Turkey debut but his passport application fell through, causing him to miss out on a first international cap at senior level.[52]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 25 June 2017[8]
Club statistics
Club  Season  League Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Portsmouth 2009–10 Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010–11 Championship 19 1 1 0 2 1 22 2
Total 19 1 1 0 2 1 22 2
Kayserispor 2011–12 Süper Lig 11 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
NAC Breda 2012–13 Eredivisie 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Dundee United 2013–14 Scottish Premiership 32 11 5 4 3 2 40 17
2014–15 36 14 3 1 3 1 42 16
Total 68 25 8 5 6 3 82 33
Celtic 2015–16 Scottish Premiership 11 4 0 0 2 0 9 0 22 4
2016–17 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 4 0
Total 12 4 1 0 2 0 11 0 26 4
Eskişehirspor (loan) 2015–16 Süper Lig 12 4 0 0 0 0 12 4
Pogoń Szczecin (loan) 2016–17 Ekstraklasa 8 0 2 0 10 0
Career total 137 34 12 5 10 4 11 0 170 43

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]