Former Hearts defender Jose Gonclaves insists Celtic target Darlington Nagbe would excel in Scotland



Former Hearts favourite Jose Goncalves insists Celtic will be recruiting one of the most exciting players in the MLS if they sign Darlington Nagbe.

Portland Timbers attacking midfielder Nagbe has been linked with a switch to Brendan Rodgers’ side and was blown away by the deafening Parkhead atmosphere after flying in to watch Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

Portuguese defender Goncalves has gone up against the 26-year-old in the last three seasons with New England Revolution and is in no doubt that the 10-times capped USA internationalist can make an impact in the Scottish Premiership.

(Pic: Ryan Byrne)
Former Hearts defender Goncalves

Gonclaves said: “He is definitely one of the most exciting players in the MLS.

“In the first year I came, I saw him and I knew right away that he had the quality that he could move on to another league.

“Darlington is a very good player and has really good ability on the ball, good technique.

“He is the type of player that is always looking for the forward pass, he is not someone that is looking to go from side to side.

“He can penetrate very quickly and moves very fast with and without the ball at his feet, and he causes a lot of problems because he has good technique.

“He is definitely a player that could adapt to the Scottish game, because the way he plays he is very similar to Scottish football, the tempo is very high.

“It’s not like in Spain when it’s played a slower tempo. He is always 100 per cent and he always keeps going, going, going.

“That can be frustrating for the other team if you have a player that you’re playing against that never relaxes.

“He is always looking for the through ball and giving 100 per cent and I think he can be very good for Celtic.”

Goncalves, who is weighing up options in Europe and Asia after his contract with the Revs expired, added: “I’m sure with the help of the fans, the coaches and the players that he can go to Celtic and do well.

“He is technical, very strong and also very deceptive.

“If he is running at you he might show you one side and go the other, he is a good player and very smart. For his age, I already think he is more developed than other players.”