Former Celtic man Olivier Ntcham turned up at Swansea in "incredible shape"

By David Walton

September 8, 2021

Former Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham has turned up at Swansea City in “incredible shape”, according to manager Russell Martin.

Ntcham left the Hoops earlier this summer after the club and player decided not to sign new terms. It came after the Frenchman had spent the second half of last term on a disastrous loan spell with Marseille in his homeland.

The midfielder’s attitude was constantly questioned at Celtic with many wondering whether the player was even trying at times. His commitment to the club had been questioned ever since telling the media in France he wanted to leave back in 2019 [L’Equipe].

Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

But the midfielder appears ready to tackle his next challenge with Swansea in better condition. Former Rangers defender Martin has been speaking up his new recruit, and despite his speculation over his attitude, he stated the player was in great physical condition.

Speaking via the official Swansea City website, Martin said: “We do need to be a bit patient, but he’s arrived in incredible shape.

“There’s nothing quite like playing games and training properly; training on your own is tough, but he’s worked extremely hard to keep himself in really good shape, and that’s down to his mentality.

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“I think he’s got a really good mentality to work.”

Olivier Ntcham leaving Celtic for Swansea wasn’t the switch he was after

Let’s not kid ourselves, Ntcham believed he was above a move to the likes of Swansea during his time with Celtic. He wanted to test himself at a higher level as far back as two summers ago. There’s no way he would’ve envisioned joining the Welsh side over two years on.

Ntcham outlining his desire to go in the French media was the worst thing he could’ve done. It put him on the bad books with supporters and clearly the previous regime too.

Whilst there were some big moments such as his last-minute winner in Lazio in November 2019, he never fully recovered from releasing his ambition to the press. The Celtic fans never viewed his commitment to the club as well as he would’ve hoped.

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In the end, he got his big move to France too. He was given a massive opportunity to show he could cut it in Ligue 1 with Marseille. The club he said he would “blossom” with if he got his move [L’Equipe]. Instead, he left having only played six times without any impact [Transfermarkt].

So let’s see how he takes to this new challenge. The Championship is a gruelling league, and it doesn’t suffer fools lightly. If Ntcham isn’t committed to the task, he’ll be quickly found out in England’s second tier.

How he takes to things will certainly be intriguing.

In other news, 23-cap Czech international lauds Celtic signing Josip Juranovic