Make no mistake, Olivier Ntcham is a man who has been exiled from Celtic Park over the last year. Showing considerable promise at the start of his tenure at Paradise, Olivier thrived under Brendan Rodgers in the most successful period in the history of Celtic Football Club, becoming a key player in every aspect of the word as the Hoops’ romped to claim every domestic trophy possible.
However, fast forward two years and Ntcham, 25, is nowhere to be seen in Glasgow – or anywhere else for that matter. Frozen out by Neil Lennon earlier this season with just 7 league starts by Christmas, it became apparent that Olivier was ready for a move elsewhere. Eventually, he ended up leaving temporarily to Olympique Marseille – a move that suited everyone in a loan-to-buy scenario, with the player content at moving back to France.
However, the switch couldn’t have gone any worse. Ntcham’s arrival sparked the resignation of then Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas, who left the club as he claimed the board signed Ntcham behind his back. Since then, the midfielder has only played 118 minutes from a possible 1,350 minutes in Ligue 1, with his last start coming in a 3-0 loss at Nice.
According to Football Insider, Ntcham’s disastrous spell in his home nation is to be compounded on his return to Lennoxtown, as Celtic’s hierarchy have told him he will be a free agent come the end of June following the exploitation of a loophole in his contract. It is a far cry from the man who was linked with Porto for £20m just a couple of years ago; although you must ask questions of the hierarchy in this situation – would the new manager not be able to guide a player who has undeniable quality? It may just be worth waiting for…