Rewind back to the start of the season and there were high hopes for Olivier Ntcham. The Frenchman, who joined for a reported £4.5million from Manchester City the previous summer, had enjoyed a pretty decent first season in the Hoops.
He’d finished the campaign on a high with terrific displays in the last derby and the Scottish Cup final. He then picked up where he left off with some awesome showings in Celtic’s early Euro qualifiers. There was a feeling that the playmaker was going to be Celtic’s next big thing.
It hasn’t materialised for whatever reason. Ntcham has featured just 19 times for Celtic on league duty this season. That’s ten times fewer than his first year. He’s also netted just three goals and only really had standout displays in two derby matches.
Cut our losses
It’s perhaps time to come to the conclusion that Ntcham is never going to be the player we hoped he would be. He’ll always be a luxury item who delivers in the odd big game but fails to string three of four good performances together.
He’s probably behind three or four players in the central midfield berth now but that isn’t to say he’s not a good player. Ki Sung-Yueng had a similar situation when he departed for Swansea in 2012. The South Korean was seen as a talented player but not one who would ever become a great at Celtic.
We received £6million for Ki so there’s no reason to suggest we couldn’t get a similar amount for Ntcham. If we could get that kind of money for a bit-part player than that would represent good value for the club.