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Celtic will be kicking themselves at not signing bargain Alireza Jahanbakhsh in 2015

The Iranian was a Celtic target three years ago, but is now scoring goals for fun with AZ Alkmaar.

Mathew Nash

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This season the Dutch goalscoring charts look set to be topped by AZ Alkmaar winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh. The 24-year-old winger has been in fine form for the club this season, scoring 18 goals in 31 games in the Dutch top-flight.

His form might not go down to well with Celtic fans, however. Back in 2015, the Bhoys were hot on the pursuit of the Iranian attacker.

He had impressed at Dutch side NEC Nijmegen in 2014-15 and, as reported by the Scotsman, found his way onto Celtic’s wishlist that summer. The report suggested a fee of just £1.5 million would have seen the Jahanbakhsh head to Parkhead. However, that summer instead saw AZ Alkmaar get hold of the player for a similar price.

At the time, not many Celtic fans would have been too disappointed in missing out on the player. Fast forward three years however and the talented winger is set to be on many European wish lists this summer.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

His form has seen him linked with the likes of Burnley and Bournemouth a year ago, with a fee of £9 million mentioned by the Daily Mail.

It is a year since those reports. Jahanbakhsh has since proven himself to be an even more potent threat and, if he can put in a good performance at the World Cup this summer, his price-tag will likely rise even more.

Celtic must, therefore, be kicking themselves that they did not manage to beat AZ to his signature in the summer of 2015.

When you consider that AZ also have another former Celtic target up front in Wout Weghorst, who has 16 goals this season, and Celtic are best to avoid looking at the Dutch league’s third-placed team altogether.

Celtic

Celtic fans will be keeping an eye on £3m flop Teemu Pukki

The Finnish striker struggled during his spell at Celtic.

Mathew Nash

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Norwich City snapped up a new recruit this week with the arrival of Teemu Pukki from Brondby on a free transfer. The 28-year-old arrives on a three-year deal and the Championship club will be hoping he can find the form he did in Denmark. He scored 25 goals in 36 games for the Danish side last season and the Canaries will hope he can take them to the next level in front of goal.

For Celtic fans, his turn of form and recent deal are something of a surprise.

The Bhoys snapped up Pukki from Schalke 04 in the summer of 2013 after he had struggled to shine in German football. The deal cost a reported £3 million and he was expected to be a hit. He was signed as a replacement for Gary Hooper, who had ironically headed to Norwich.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

On paper it looked a good deal but, for whatever reason, things did not work out for Pukki at Celtic.  He scored on his debut but soon enough the goals and his form left him. He managed just nine goals in 37 games for Celtic before joining Danish side Brondby, initially on loan, in 2014.

Pukki struggled to find the level necessary in Scotland but it would appear that his experience at Celtic has helped form him into a far better player.

Celtic fans are unlikely to wish he was still at Parkhead. When it comes to goals they are blessed with the talents of Odsonne Edouard, Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths.

But no doubt Celtic fans will be keeping an eye on his progress in the Championship, as Pukki tries to crack the UK for the second time in his career.

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Celtic

He is not worth £50m but Dedryck Boyata has proved a point this summer

Celtic’s Belgian defender has silenced many doubters this summer

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this week former Celtic hero John Hartson received some ridicule after suggesting the club’s central defender Dedryck Boyata might be worth £50 million. While that is not the case and the Welshman addressed so in the Glasgow Evening Times, he has proven a lot this summer.

Which is why it would have hurt that he found himself dropped to the bench for Belgium’s lucky escape against Japan last night. Vincent Kompany replaced him now fully fit and Boyata did little to deserve being demoted.

He was excellent in the group stages, especially the game with England. He had Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy under control throughout the game and proved himself worthy of transfer talk.

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Boyata also helped to prove something about Scottish football. The game north of the border gets a rough deal from some fans considering the standard of play and football.

But there are some incredible exceptions such as Virgil van Dijk or Andrew Robertson who can go on and achieve positive things away from Scotland.

If Celtic receive a handsome offer based on Boyata’s World Cup displays this summer then they will no doubt snap it up. The Belgian has now done all he can to prove he can cut it away from Parkhead.

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Celtic experience makes Kieran Tierney perfect for Everton

The 21-year-old has become Everton’s main transfer target.

Mathew Nash

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Everton are currently being linked with a move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. As reported by The Times, the Scotland international has become the club’s number one transfer target and will cost in excess of £25 million this summer.

Everton need to recruit a left-back, with Leighton Baines entering the latter stages of his career. Tierney, who can also play at centre-back when needed, has been identified as the perfect option.

Some Everton fans are however doubtful over the 21-year-old’s credentials. The fact he plays in Scotland has certainly not helped his case. Everton fans feel the standard is too low north of the border and it makes Tierney a poor target.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Why are they wrong?

Tierney has proven himself in one of the highest-pressure clubs to play for in Europe. The standard of football in Scotland may be low, but Tierney has had to play in front of one of the most impassioned fanbases in world football. He has thrived under the pressure and will do the same at Goodison Park.

Also, in European football, Tierney has often looked like the only Celtic player who belongs on such a stage.  

It is easy to knock Tierney as a Scottish football wonder. However, just look across Stanley Park at Liverpool. Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson both made their names in Scotland and the pair are now two of the best in their respective positions in England.

Everton should not see the fact Tierney plays for Celtic as a disadvantage, but rather an advantage. He sees Everton as a challenge he has to take and arrives a fully-formed 50-game a season defender.

At just 21-years-old, those do not come around often.

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