Ciftci will be ‘great addition’ to St Johnstone squad, says Davidson

The former Celtic striker has joined St Johnstone until the end of the season.

Ciftci will be ‘great addition’ to St Johnstone squad, says Davidson SNS Group

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson has been impressed by former Celtic and Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci before he has even played a game for the Perth side.

Davidson has already seen enough of the Turkish forward on the training ground to be confident that he will be a “great addition” to his side.

The 29-year-old joined Saints on January 5 until the end of the season and is expected to go straight into the squad to play Hearts at Tynecastle on Tuesday before they begin their defence of the Scottish Cup against Kelty Hearts next weekend.

Ciftci, who also previously had a loan spell at Motherwell, could make his debut in the Premiership game in Edinburgh as the McDiarmid Park club look to start their climb off the bottom of the table after eight-successive defeats in all competitions before the rescheduled winter break.

Davidson said: “Once I got offered him, I said yes straight away to it, I didn’t even think about it,”.

The former Scotland player, who guided St Johnstone to a cup double last season, wouldn’t comment on reports that he had made a bid for Inverness defender Robbie Deas, while revealing that midfielder Craig Bryson could be out for up to eight weeks with an ankle problem that requires surgery.

He said: “It was a good one. He has come in and he’s in very good shape. He has something to prove himself.

“It is good getting Nadir where his head is, what he wants to do and now it is up to him to go and do that.

“I have seen enough glimpses in training and things in training to make me believe that he will be a great addition to the team.

“He will be good for the strikers, good for the midfielders running beyond as well so there is a lot of positives there and I think it is a big signing for St Johnstone.”

Asked about reports that Aberdeen had informed the Perth club that they would be speaking to goalkeeper Zander Clark about signing a pre-contract, Davidson said: “A lot of clubs have been interested in Zander, not just Aberdeen.

“He has probably been our best player so far this season.

“He will be able to have a pick of clubs, hopefully there will be clubs in England as well, interested.

“It is a big chance for him. He has been here for 10 years now. It is a big, big decision for him to make.

“If he keeps performing the way he does, he will have a lot more choices than just Aberdeen.”

On the absence of Bryson, Davidson told a number of newspapers: “Everyone is fit apart from Craig Bryson.

“Craig will be out for six to eight weeks. He was struggling towards the end of that run of games in December.

“He has had a wee niggling problem with his ankle and needs an operation.

“Craig put his body on the line because we were struggling for players. He deserves a lot of credit for that.

“It’s a big blow for him but we have others who are fit and ready to go.”

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