CHINESE internationalist Zheng Zhi was officially unveiled as a Celtic player today and he is eagerly looking forward to playing for the Hoops for the first time.
While that won’t come in tomorrow’s SPL game against St Mirren, the player known as ‘ZZ’ has already trained with his new team-mates and he’ll be working hard to get his level of fitness up so that he can try and push his way into Tony Mowbray’s first-team squad.
“Celtic is a huge football club and I’m delighted to be here,” Zheng Zhi said. “And I’m looking forward to working with the manager. I can play in a few positions but it’s up to the manager where he wants me to play. I feel good although I need some more fitness work.
“Celtic are one of the top sides in European football and I had heard about them when I was in China, and I hope there will be more and more Chinese fans and local Scottish fans who’ll support me and the club.
“When I heard that there was a chance for me to join Celtic, I jumped at it. It’s the perfect move for me at this stage of my career. I was at Charlton for a few years, but this is the perfect next step for me, and the reaction to the news back in China has been unbelievable.”
Tony Mowbray had tried to sign ZZ when he was manager of West Brom and the player was at Charlton. And the Celtic manager is delighted to have now got his man for Celtic.
“He brings versatility which is one of the main reasons he’s here,” the Hoops boss explained. “He played for Charlton against my West Brom side and he was always their most effective player, playing either behind the striker or a holding midfielder, or even a wide player.
“He’s a good footballer and I’ve said from day one that I like good footballers and he fits very much into that category.
“He’s comfortable with the ball at his feet. He can see a pass, he can play a pass and he can manipulate the ball. I want him to come and enjoy his football. I tried to sign him when I was at West Brom so he understands that I respect him as a football player.
“He’s got to get himself fit and up to speed, get in the team and enjoy his football. He’s here to hopefully enjoy being part of a successful Celtic team.”
Welcome to Paradise ZZ