Edouard backs Celtic team-mate amid signing controversy

By David Walton

February 16, 2021

Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard has backed team-mate Olivier Ntcham to shine at Marseille after a fortnight of controversy.

Ntcham made his debut for the Ligue 1 side in a French Cup match vs Auxerre last week. He then made a 27-minute outing against Bordeaux to bag his first league appearance.

However, the main talking point since his loan move to France has been the situation surrounding former boss Andre Villas-Boas. The Portuguese tactician resigned after Ntcham was brought in. This was due to the idea that the Celtic man wasn’t wanted by him [The Guardian].

Ntcham moved to defend himself last week – stating that Villas-Boas knew all about him [Scottish Sun]. And Celtic team-mate Edouard has backed Olivier to make a big impact back in his homeland.

As quoted by Glasgow Live, Eddy said: “I see him winning and succeeding. He has the qualities, and mentally he’s ready.

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“So, I don’t see any reason why he doesn’t succeed because he’s a player with a strong character. So, I think between the Marseille fans and him, it’s going to be a good mix.”

Edouard not wrong despite Celtic man’s signing controversy

You can’t disagree with Edouard here. Ntcham’s technical ability, which is by fair his biggest asset, should be well suited to the technique-based French environment. It’s difficult to see Olivier not fitting in with his new side in the long-term.

But don’t be surprised if we don’t see Ntcham back in Scotland again. This has all the feeling of a move that’s going to become permanent. And even if he doesn’t impress enough for that to be the case, he’ll likely be sold elsewhere in the summer.

For Ntcham is another of the out-of-contract in 2022 contingent. That means Celtic only have this summer to get a decent fee for the Frenchman before he can leave for free. That’s not something Celtic will want to entertain for a player with such clear raw talent.

Olivier Ntcham in action against Bordeaux (Photo by Jonathan Bartolozzi/Olympique de Marseille via Getty Images)

Of course, he’s certainly had his troubles ever since the move a couple of weeks ago. As well as the controversy surrounding Villas-Boas, fans have also managed to dig up an old interview of Ntcham talking up his love for PSG [Glasgow Live]. But that’s hardly something to beat him with. Ntcham grew up in the southern suburbs of Paris – what do you expect?

This is a huge six months for Ntcham in any case. A massive opportunity to get his career going once again in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

At face value this may look like a deal that doesn’t suit any party given the reaction to it, but over time, Ntcham will show what he’s all about back home.

In other news, Chris Sutton doesn’t believe this Celtic backroom figure can be trusted.