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Champions League Qualifying Third Round

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Hooper could 'excel' in Italy

Juventus coach Antonio Conte believes Celtic striker Gary Hooper is good enough to be playing in Serie A.

Last Updated: 12/02/13 at 17:18 Post Comment

Gary Hooper: Celtic striker praised by Juventus coach Antonio Conte

Gary Hooper: Celtic striker praised by Juventus coach Antonio Conte

Hooper has scored 22 goals in all competitions this season and was the subject of several bids from Norwich City during the January transfer window.

He was also linked with a move to Juventus before the window opened and Conte has praised the 25-year-old ahead of his side's UEFA Champions League tie with Celtic on Tuesday night.

"Hooper up front is a player who, with the greatest of respect to Scotland, could excel in our championship in Italy," said Conte.

"He is a very fast player, who attacks the spaces very well and is a good finisher."

However, Hooper is not the only player to have impressed Conte and the Juve boss is adamant he will not be underestimating Celtic in the last-16 encounter.

Conte added: "Celtic has good players throughout the team and the heart and soul seems to be Scott Brown. Alongside him is Victor Wanyama who, as well as being technically good, has an impressive physique.

"Georgios Samaras attacks the spaces very well and is another who has an imposing physique as well as being technical.

"I like Kelvin Wilson and keeper Fraser Forster, who is a very young player with a very good future.

"Celtic are not unknown to us and we have certainly not underestimated them. I said before they have not just played well in the SPL as not many teams could beat Barcelona at home and just narrowly lose away."

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