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Transfers that shook the club: Kenny Miller and Celtic

In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.

Celtic will have the chance to win their first trophy of the season in Sunday’s Betfred Cup final, which could be the first part of a potential fourth consecutive domestic treble. [via TransferMarkt]

If they are to win the tournament for the fourth year in succession, they will need to take down some familiar foes at Hampden Park, with the opposition in Sunday’s showpiece being provided by crosstown rivals Rangers.

Such is the nature of the rivalry between the clubs that only five players have represented both sides of the divide since World War II.

One of those was Kenny Miller, who in January 2006 signed a pre-contract agreement with Celtic while still a Wolves player (as per BBC).

Considering his previous as a Rangers player, it was a bold move for the Scotland striker to make, especially in the context of Mo Johnston having “vitriol thrown at him by such a vocal minority” after reneging on a public statement of his desire to move to Parkhead by instead joining the Ibrox club from Nantes in 1989, as per BBC.

BBC‘s Clive Lindsay wrote at the time of the challenge that Miller faced in trying to “win over fans who do not yet regard him in the class of recently-departed striking heroes Chris Sutton and Henrik Larsson”.

The ex-Rangers man didn’t initially go about trying to win over the Celtic support in the best way, being sent off in a pre-season friendly hammering by DC United in 2006 and failing to score in his first eight games for the Hoops.

However, the fates would determine that his first Celtic goal came in a derby win against his old club in September 2006, and he followed that up with three goals in the Champions League group stage as Gordon Strachan’s side advanced to the knockout rounds of the tournament for the first time.

He seemed to save his best form for Europe, where his return of three goals from eight games contrasted with just four in 28 Premiership matches in 2006/07. [via TransferMarkt]

Ultimately that was his only season at Parkhead, having left for Derby at the start of the 2007/08 season, and he would have two further spells with Celtic’s crosstown rivals later in his career.

When speaking to the Football Daft podcast a few weeks ago [via The Scottish Sun], Miller said that Celtic’s participation in the Champions League was a key factor in his decision to sign for the Hoops, adding that he was aware of a potential backlash from some fans given his time at Ibrox but backed himself to win over his detractors by performing on the pitch.

His move to Celtic was certainly a brave one but his key role in a history-making Champions League campaign would make it worthwhile.

Celtic fans, were you shocked when you found out about Miller signing for the club in 2006? How well do you think his transfer worked out? Comment below with your views!

Transfers that shook the club: Kenny Miller and Celtic
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Article title: Transfers that shook the club: Kenny Miller and Celtic

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