Reviews of the imminent first arrival of the transfer window at Celtic have varied somewhat since he first came across Scottish radars.

Statistical analysis has had Nicolas Kuhn pegged as the next Angel Di Maria, while some who have watched his displays for Rapid Vienna so far this term fear he may be the next Celtic rough diamond in need of a right good polish.

As a Vienna-based commentator and presenter of popular podcast ‘The Other Bundesliga’, which focuses on the Austrian top-flight, Tom Middler has seen plenty of Kuhn, and his educated opinion falls somewhere between those two camps.

Perhaps that is no surprise, as dividing opinion seems something of a speciality of Kuhn’s, particularly among the Rapid faithful, who are torn both on his abilities and on the prospect of losing him to the Scottish champions.

“This Di Maria story is a good one, isn’t it?” Middler said.

“It’s more of a statistical similarity more than anything, it is on paper. You wouldn’t watch Nick Kuhn and think ‘there’s the next Di Maria’, necessarily. But there is something in it and it’s true that he has got this potential.

“For whatever reason, we have seen flashes of that, but he’s never really been able to unlock it.

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“He’s a massive opinion divider. He’s in the first XI and starting all the time, and you can’t really drop him because he threatens to create so much on the right.

“He’s great with progressive runs, he’s a good ball carrier, he takes on dribbles all the time and he has a pretty successful record in attacking dribbles.

“He gets into the box a lot and he probably has more touches in the opposition area than anybody, but there is just this feeling that he is the focal point of Rapid not doing as well as they should.

“That has been the story of Rapid’s season, they flatter to deceive, basically.”

Is he simply the unfortunate victim then of the collective malaise of Rapid, and a lightning rod attracting the blame for their shortcomings? Well, yes and no.

“It’s not just Kuhn, but Rapid in general, statistically they have been quite good this season,” Middler continued.

“If you looked at their chances created, shots on goal, all of that sort of stuff, you would think they must be up there pushing in the top two or three, but they are doing much, much worse than that in reality.

“Kuhn is kind of the focal point for that, because he creates a lot, but he’s only got two goals this season while his xG is way higher.

“He’s always in these good positions, but he doesn’t finish off well, he doesn’t appear to have a good striker’s instinct at all once he gets into the area.

“He does set a lot of chances up for teammates in fairness, but they often miss them too! So, it’s not been a great year for Rapid so far.”

It rather sounds then that Kuhn falls into that category that sends shivers up the spines of Celtic supporters at present when it comes to their transfer business, and may well bristle with Brendan Rodgers too - a project.

On the flip side though, Middler believes the 24-year-old may not be all that far away from being able to provide the sort of quality that the Celtic manager craves on a more consistent basis.

“He is a project player in a sense, but when you look at the stats and when you watch him, there’s not that much missing,” he said.

“It’s the final couple of pieces of the jigsaw that need to be put in place, rather than him needing two or three years of development.

“It could be the kind of thing where one or two little tweaks could make him into a Celtic first team player very, very soon.

“He might be a player then who is a bit of a contentious one between Rodgers and the board, but he might also be one who can keep both of them happy, because he isn’t the finished article, but he’s almost there.

“He’s still quite young in his career in a sense. He is 24, but he is still just really graduating into senior football.

“So, I think there is definitely a chance he could blossom. There is definitely that potential under there, you can’t help but notice it when you watch him.

“He is an instigator of so much. He’s a player that catches the eye, and it’s not for nothing that he is in the box so much or that he’s in good positions so much.

“Yes, he’s not a deadly finisher that you would love when the ball is falling to them so often in the box, he doesn’t have that in his game yet.

“But, still, it’s nice to have someone there who is always getting into those positions, that must mean that he does a lot right.

“If a club like Celtic are happy to take that on and try to tweak him a bit, rather than going for a finished article necessarily, then I definitely do think there is potential.

“He is fresh in his career, been at good clubs in RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Ajax as well, so he’s not in the worst shape and I think there is a good chance he could go on and do well.

“It wouldn’t be the first time that Rapid hasn’t been able to get the most out of a player either. That is a little bit of a theme with Rapid, that they struggle to maximise the potential of their players, they let them go, and then you go on and see that player do really well elsewhere.

“Then there are people at Rapid scratching their heads and wondering why this player who they might have let go for a couple of million is now worth £30m. What happened there?

“He definitely could be the next one in that line.”

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What is also encouraging from a Celtic point of view is that he has not allowed the stick he has received from his own fans to deter him, with Middler believing he may therefore have the mental attributes to handle the pressure of expectation he will be under at his new club.

“I think he’s handled it fairly well to be honest,” he said.

“It’s obviously hard to say exactly what is going on with him, but he hasn’t shied away from it, put it that way.

“He still gets out there every week and he is one of those players who keeps plugging away.

“I think the fans do sort of love him and hate him as well. It’s not all anti-Nicolas Kuhn, but he is someone who definitely divides opinion.

“I think he is someone who has kept plugging away, and he hasn’t buried his head in the sand, he’s dealt with it pretty well.

“If you are coming from Rapid, in Austrian terms it might be the best possible example you could get of mirroring the sort of pressure he’ll be under at Celtic and what that feels like to be an under pressure Celtic player.”