French midfielder Olivier Ntcham wrote his name in Celtic’s folklore when he netted an injury-time winner against Lazio in Rome. The midfielder has had to be content with a place on the bench for most of the season, but he has always looked impressive in little cameos and when he has got a chance to start.
Ntcham’s comment from the summer
Ntcham was seen as a gone case by many after his remarks before the start of this season. The 22-year-old had drawn interest from the likes of Porto and Marseille, and the Frenchman had said back in July (L’equipe), ”Games came one after another but with respect to my opponents, if the level isn’t high, you don’t progress. I was really disappointed not to have gone to Porto last summer.”
Change in tune from Ntcham
The midfielder clearly undermined the quality of Scottish football, and not many expected him to stick around at Parkhead for long. His words justifiably angered the Hoops faithful as well. However, now there seems to be a change of tune in the midfielder as Ntcham recently claimed that he is not looking at another club and he has more to give at Celtic.
Ntcham recently said (Herald Scotland), ”I am focused on Celtic 150 percent, I am focused on working hard every day in training and on the pitch. I am not spending my time looking around. There was talk about my future, but I am fully concentrated on the present. I think there is a lot more to come because I’m not quite fully fit just yet, in terms of matches.”
With the January transfer window fast approaching, the recent comments from Ntcham will be endearing to hear for the club’s fans. The midfielder has played only in bits and pieces so far this season, and he seems to be struggling with injuries as well.
Why Lennon deserves credit for this turnaround
Manager Neil Lennon also needs to be given credit as he sat Ntcham down and had a word with him. After his comments regarding the failure of moving to Porto, Lennon had said, ”Whether he’s unhappy or not it shouldn’t have been made for public consumption the way he has done it. He will be reminded of his responsibilities while he is still here.”
It seems like Lennon’s talk with the midfielder has worked as he currently seems to focus on Celtic. However, there is a sense of feeling that Ntcham will want to move away as he isn’t able to get regular game time. Given his talent and abilities, he could play regular football for quite a few clubs in Europe. However, for now, Celtic fans should be happy that Ntcham has learnt his lessons in the summer and he is willing to work hard for the cause at Parkhead.
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