JUAN SARA has backed fellow Argentine Alexandro Bernabei to be a smash-hit for Celtic – and light up the Champions League.

Sara is a big fan of left-back Bernabei who clinched a dream £3.75m summer switch to Ange Postecoglou’s champions earlier this week from Argentine outfit Lanus.

Former Dundee striker Sara, who starred at Dens Park from 2000-2003 and is now manager of Argentine club Deportivo Maipu, knew all along 21-year-old Bernabei would become a household name.

Now he’s tipping the swashbuckling full-back to turn on the style for the Hoops as they gear up for thew defence of their Premiership title as well as their forthcoming Champions League campaign.

Sara said: “Alexandro is a great signing for Celtic.

“He is a wonderful, modern-day full-back. He will get forward all day long and deliver quality crosses for his team-mates.

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“Will he be a success in Scotland? Yes, absolutely. I also believe he will be a big hit in the Champions League.

“I’ve watched a lot of him in the last couple of years and he’s kicked on so much in terms of improvement. So, in my opinion, he is ready to play at the highest level.

“Everyone in Argentina knows about him. They rave about him because they know he’s destined for the top.

“It’s great to see a young Argentinian player moving to such a massive club like Celtic. The whole country will be behind him and I’m convinced he won’t disappoint anyone.

“I know he’ll be excited. He’s got so much to look forward to and he’s got the temperament to take it all in his stride.”

Sara took the plunge to move to Scotland with the Dark Blues when Italian gaffer Ivano Bonetti lured him to Tayside as one of his first signings in 2000.

And the 46-year-old, who famously notched a hat-trick against city rivals Dundee United in a derby-day showdown, believes Bernabei will embrace life in his new homeland.

He added: “Of course, it will be a big change moving from Argentina to Scotland for obvious reasons.

“I did it with Dundee back in 2000 and it can take a little bit of getting used to a different country.

“But Alexandro is a mature player for his age who will relish the chance to shine on a wider stage.

“And the way Celtic like to play football – with their full-backs pushing high up the field - will suit him perfectly.

“For me, the Celtic fans will grow to love him. He’s a player who will give so much to their team and I can’t wait to see his impact.

“He’s been playing against some top players against the likes of Boca Juniors and River Plate in the Primera Division, so that will obviously stand him in good stead for this brilliant opportunity in his career.”

Sara recalls Celtic’s adventures into the Champions League during both Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan’s tenures at the club.

And the Argentine believes Postecoglou’s hopefuls have cause for optimism ahead of their own foray into Europe’s elite tournament.

He said: “I think Celtic have looked impressive since Postecoglou took over.

“He has done a brilliant job in quite a short space of time.

“To won the league title back at the first attempt is not an easy thing to do - especially considering he moved to Scotland and had to deal with all those new challenges.

“I remember Celtic being strong in Europe under O’Neill and Strachan. There were some great nights at Celtic Park.

“Now they have to aim to make that step up to. It will be challenging but they seem like they are well-equipped for the test.”