Cotterill rues Ciftci loan mistake

Nadir Ciftci in action for the Blues against Reading
Nadir Ciftci in action for the Blues against Reading
Pompey striker Conor Chaplin struggles to hide his disappointment

Southend 3-1 Pompey: They said what?

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Steve Cotterill believes Nadir Ciftci’s career has suffered for refusing to go out on loan.

Now the 19-year-old will permanently play his football away from Fratton Park.

Ciftci this week left Pompey, along with Danny Webber, Darryl Flahavan, Richard Hughes and Michael Brown.

Although officially contracted until the end of June, the quintet have effectively ended their association with the Blues.

Yet, unlike the others, the promising forward was offered a new deal to remain at Fratton Park.

Ciftci decided around the turn of the year he wouldn’t be signing and instead is set for a switch to the Turkish league.

It is not clear which club will be his destination, although Pompey will receive compensation once the deal goes through.

The season began with so much promise for the Dutch-born player, who caught the eye during pre-season.

But he opted not to follow Matt Ritchie, Marlon Park and, much later, Tom Kilbey by going out on loan to gain first-team experience. Instead he remained to chalk up 22 appearances but only five since the turn of the year.

Cotterill considers that as a mistake by Ciftci.

And he is adamant it has hampered his development this season.

He said: ‘We knew a while ago Nadir was going to be leaving and we will now get a compensation payment for him.

‘I think he is going to join some Turkish club. That had been sorted out a little while ago, that has not been any secret.

‘But I’ve said this to him and I’ve said this to his father – what he should have done was stayed here and maybe gone out on loan to get a bit of experience. He had a chance to go out on loan right at the beginning of the season – when he wasn’t going to be in the starting line-up all the time.

‘There would have been a few clubs I could have got him into for some experience.

‘But he chose not to.

‘At the end of the day, you want competition for places but sometimes people are not going to play enough minutes so what you do is try to get them minutes lower down

‘That is what I would have liked to have done with Nadir.

‘I wanted to put him out on loan.

‘I think he doesn’t quite understand.

‘Whether it is him, his father or his agent, I don’t think they understood quite how good the loan system is in this country.

‘It’s a proper footballing nation and you can loan out players to get the experience they need.

‘He would have been one we would have done that with.’

The fact Ciftci has decided to leave Fratton Park is a big blow.

At least Pompey will be compensated, although it will be in the form of a training fee rather than any lucrative transfer fee.

In similar circumstances last summer, the Blues collected £146,656 from Hamburg for Lenny Sowah.

Regardless, Ciftci was a player Cotterill wanted to keep.

He added: ‘There was one of the bigger clubs in for Nadir first of all and maybe not now.

‘While it is disappointing, there is nothing we can do.

‘That is what happens when players are out of contracts.

‘Either they make a decision or you make a decision.

‘Either way, football is a transitional sport and we need to move on now and look forward.

‘It is always disappointing when you lose a young player but hopefully we can find other young players who will come here.’