Football Features

From Juninho to Ian Wright: 16 players you (probably) forgot played for Celtic

By Squawka News

Published: 16:50, 11 October 2021

Such is the constant movement of players from club to club, sometimes certain transfers do drift under the radar.

It’s not until you look through previous squad lists do you realise that there are some players that have been at clubs that would take many by surprise and Celtic are one that fall into that category, having always been a side that invests heavily in recruitment.

The Bhoys are one of the most recognisable clubs across Europe and are giants of the Scottish game, therefore attracting players (no matter the standard of quality in the league) has rarely been a problem.

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Roy Keane, Henrik Larsson, Shunsuke Nakamura, Mark Viduka and Kenny Dalglish are just a few of the big names to have played for Celtic in the past. But for their memorable spells at the club, there’s a host of forgettable ones.

With that said, here are 16 players that you (probably) forgot ever pulled on the famous green and white shirt of the Hoops.

1. Juninho

Joined: 2004

Left: 2005

League Apps: 14

League Goals: 1

After impressing for Middlesbrough and Atletico Madrid, the Brazilian brought his tour of Europe to an end with a brief and disappointing spell in Scotland with Celtic. He struggled to break into the first team under Martin O’Neill and departed after just a year to return home.

2. Teemu Pukki 

Joined: 2013

Left: 2015

League Apps: 26

League Goals: 7

We’re all quite familiar with Teemu Pukki now thanks to his exploits in the Championship and Premier League with Norwich City, but his first foray in British football was north of the border with Celtic. Pukki wasn’t quite as successful there,  netting just nine goals in 37 appearances across all competitions before departing for Danish side Brondby in 2015. He did, however, secure a Scottish Premiership title in the 2013/14 campaign, scoring seven goals in the process.

3. John Guidetti

Joined: 2014 (on loan from Manchester City)

Left: 2015

League Apps: 24

League Goals: 8

Following a string of loan spells away from Manchester City, the Swedish striker enjoyed a successful 2014/15 campaign with the Hoops as he scored eight goals in 24 league appearances, helping them win a Premiership and Scottish Cup double.

However, his form wasn’t enough to earn a new deal at the Etihad Stadium as he was released following his loan spell and subsequently joined La Liga outfit, Celta Vigo. He now plays for Alaves.

4. Daryl Murphy

Joined: 2010

Left: 2013

League Apps: 19

League Goals: 3

It’s often forgotten that Celtic splashed out £1 million to lure the Irishman north of the border from Ipswich Town. It’s a move that didn’t quite go to plan as the striker struggled to make much of an impact during his time at the club and eventually returned to Portman Road.

5. Freddie Ljungberg

Joined: 2010

Left: 2011

League Apps: 7

League Goals: 0

An integral part of Arsenal’s Invincibles side as well as the team that reached the final of the 2006 Champions League.

The Swede ended up at Celtic Park following spells with West Ham United, Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire but lasted just nine months in Scotland.

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6. Edson Braafheid

Joined: 2010 (on loan from Bayern Munich)

Left: 2010

League Apps: 10

League Goals: 0

Yes, Celtic were able to sign a player from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. It’s just a shame it wasn’t someone of the calibre of Philipp Lahm.

Braafheid spent the remainder of the 2009/2010 campaign with the Hoops without making too much of an impression, although he was able to secure a place in the Netherlands squad for the World Cup later that summer.

7. Youssouf Mulumbu

Joined: 2018

Left: 2019

League Apps: 1

League Goals: 0

Youssouf Mulumbu was a Premier League stalwart with West Bromwich Albion but after leaving the Baggies, and following a short stint at Norwich City, he rocked up in Scotland, first with Kilmarnock, then with Celtic.

It’s safe to say his time in Glasgow was anything but a success, making just one league appearance before heading back on loan to Kilmarnock. Celtic activated a break clause in Mulumbu’s contract in June 2019 and is now without a club after leaving Kilmarnock earlier this year.

8. Andreas Hinkel

Joined: 2008

Left: 2011

League Apps: 79

League Goals: 1

The German was at Celtic Park for a number of years and made a name for himself with a series of consistent spells down the right-hand side. Was seen as an important part of the team until sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out for nine months at start of the 2010/2011 season and was then released soon after making a full recovery.

9. Massimo Donati

Joined: 2007

Left: 2009

League Apps: 31

League Goals: 3

Celtic supporters must have thought they hit the jackpot when a midfielder tipped for great things at AC Milan arrived. The Italian had a mixed two years at the club with the highlight probably being a spectacular volley in the 3-1 loss at the hands of Arsenal at the Champions League play-off stage in 2009.

10. Carlton Cole

Joined: 2015

Left: 2016

League Apps: 4

League Goals: 0

“When Celtic called and said they wanted me, I just ran over,” Carlton Cole said when he swapped West Ham for Celtic in 2015.

“Being at Celtic is not about the money, it’s about wearing the shirt with pride. Celtic are in a great position to win trophies and I want to add that to my career.”

Well, that didn’t go too well as the striker managed a grand total of, clears throat, no goals in four league appearances and just one in the cup. Oh, and he didn’t add a single medal to his collection either before jetting off for Sacramento Republic.

11. Jeremie Aliadiere

Joined: 2005 (on loan from Arsenal)

Left: 2006

League Apps: 0

League Goals: 0

The idea behind this loan spell was to help Aliadiere – once touted as a future superstar – gain some much needed first-team experience. However, he didn’t get much of that with the Hoops and it would be no surprise if supporters don’t remember his time there as his only appearances came in a Champions League loss against Artmedia Bratislava.

12. Stephane Henchoz

Joined: 2005

Left: 2005

League Apps: 6

League Goals: 0

Once his impressive partnership alongside Sami Hyppia at the heart of Liverpool’s defence was broken up following the arrival of Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2004, Henchoz saw his opportunities limited at Anfield and went on to join Celtic for a short time. Made just six league appearances before returning to England with Wigan Athletic.

13. Jeremy Toljan

Joined: 2019

Left: 2019

League Apps: 10

League Goals: 0

Having been unable to break the full-back monopoly at Borussia Dortmund, former Germany U-21 international Jeremy Toljan rocked up at Celtic Park on a six-month loan deal in January 2019, going on to make 14 appearances for the club. Although he impressed during his time in Glasgow, he was unable to break into the Dortmund side and now finds himself with Sassuolo in Italy.

14. Timothy Weah

Joined: 2019

Left: 2019

League Apps: 13

League Goals: 3

Like Toljan, Timothy Weah also arrived on loan in January 2019 and the USA international claimed he was “in love” with the club upon joining.

Weah managed four goals in 17 appearances across all competitions during his time with Celtic, helping the club win the 2018/19 Premiership title, although his loan was terminated as he missed the Scottish Cup final due to a call-up to USA’s U-20 World Cup squad.

Weah is now finding success at Lille, helping them win the league last season.

15. Ian Wright

Joined: 1999

Left: 2000

League Apps: 8

League Goals: 3

The Gunners legend floated around a number of clubs following his departure from Highbury in the summer of 1998. He ended up at Celtic in 1999 and scoring on debut proved the be the highlight of his short spell.

16. Henri Camara

Joined: 2004 (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Left: 2005

League Apps: 18

League Goals: 8

One of football’s serial journeymen. The pacy forward has played for a host of clubs throughout his career and Celtic were one of the lucky one to be graced with his presence in 2004.

Signed to help fill the void left by Henrik Larsson, Camara didn’t live up to those lofty heights and saw his loan deal terminated in January 2005, despite being contracted for another few more months.