Olivier Ntcham: When Will We See Your Like Again? Hopefully Never

Olivier Ntcham: when will we see your like again?

Hopefully never, given that in his valedictory message he made clear that playing in the SPL was beneath him. Neil Lennon and Christopher Jullien subsequently confirmed this and the latter has said that his compatriot was stagnating. For stagnating read… couldn’t be bothered.

Some people will say that he went backwards under Neil Lennon or that he was one of the players that downed tools this season. I wouldn’t argue against either of those statements but think the problem goes back further. I remember during Brendan Rodgers’ third season, we played St. Mirren away on a Friday night in September. He had an absolute shocker and got himself sent off because he was annoyed that, in his eyes, a lesser player had the temerity to tackle him. We drew the game and I think that’s when Ntcham decided he had had enough.

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Neil Lennon confirmed that Ntcham had been looking for a move away for a long time.

Man City obviously thought Ntcham had some potential but when he was loaned to Genoa, the Italians never took up the option to buy. Make of that what you will, maybe the Italian League was beneath him too? Olivier Ntcham, the potential to be a great player, only outweighed by his feeling of self-importance.

We don’t need to worry about Ntcham just for the moment but are there any lessons to be learned? We could have punted him to Porto for a reported £13.5m but didn’t. I sort of understand that given Neil Lennon wanted to hold onto his core players for this season. However, the Frenchman has contributed two thirds of nothing and the hard lesson is, when a player wants to go, it is best to get him out before he “stagnates”.

Otherwise, be prepared to watch his value drop in direct proportion to his abysmal performances on the pitch or the time he spends warming the bench.

There are other players who want away; Edouard will not sign a new contract and Christie is reported to want to play down south. I guess there are others, Jullien, Rogic, Ajer etc. Whoever is in charge next season, these players have to be away in the summer. They should have gone in the last transfer window.

We may bring in replacements or if there are any youngsters left, let’s give some of them an opportunity. It’s criminal to see the exodus of young players who do not see a way to progress at the club when players like Ntcham are ahead of them.

Chris Wotherspoon

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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