Celtic Striker wants English Premier League return - Killen for Man Utd?

Last updated : 06 January 2009 By Mikbhoy
Chris Killen, the perpetually injured former Hibee has played just once for the Hoops this season and has only just returned to training following a knee injury which saw him back on sick pay for another three months and yet he's setting his sights on a move to England's top tier.

Hearts, if the rumours are true, are said to be interested in taking the big forward to Tynecastle during the January window but Killen doesn't fancy switching to Gorgie "I'd be interested in moving away. I just want to play football, all the boys at the club are the same. When you're not playing, you're not happy so there comes a time when you need to look forward - whether it's a loan or moving on permanently. I'd like to go back to the Premiership. I think everybody wants to play there. That's the level you need to aspire to but, at the moment, I need to work hard to get back in the Celtic side."

No, I didn't get the 'get back in the Celtic side' bit either. Killen continued "Everybody knows how tough it is at a club like Celtic. We have the biggest squad in the league and the best players so it's a tall order to get a starting position and nail it down. When we look at the players we have on the bench sometimes it shows how tough it is. But things can change so quickly. One week you may not be involved then the next you might be starting. I just need to keep working hard, focusing and taking my chance when it comes."

Killen, from the Wellington suburb of Island Bay, joined Manchester City's youth academy as a seventeen year old in 1999. Loans to Wrexham and Port Vale preceded a permanent move to Oldham Athletic in July 2002 for £250,000. He remained with Oldham for three and a half years before they released him on a free transfer.

He joined Hibernian In January 2006 and scored on his debut in a 3-0 defeat of Rangers in a Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox and against Livingston four days later but despite this great start he only managed a total of five goals for the season. In the next season the Hibs fans expected the big New Zealander to step up to the plate following the departure of strikers Garry O'Connor and Derek Riordan and by December he had scored 11 goals including an impressive brace in a 2-1 win over Rangers. Unfortunately Killen suffered a ruptured achilles which ended his season in January.

He arrived at Celtic on a free transfer in May 2007 and signed a three year contract with the club. Since making his debut in October 2007, coming off the bench in a 0-0 draw against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, Killen has scored one competitive goal for the club - and a very important goal it was - an 89th minute equaliser against Gretna last October. But it's been slim pickings since then for the big Kiwi.

Killen's career has just never got off the ground at Celtic - actually his career has stalled just about everywhere he's ever been - and really the big striker has to look at himself. This was an unexpected chance at the big time for a player who had only ever shown potential in fits and starts at lower level clubs. Maybe there were mitigating circumstances such as the form of incumbent strikers Scott McDonald and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink last season and injuries at critical times but his decision to travel to the Beijing Olympics at such a crucial point in his career did him no favours at all.