Former Celtic star and coach John Collins doesn’t think the club should sell midfielder Olivier Ntcham this summer, The Daily Record reports.
The paper say that English Premier League side Southampton are eyeing up a move for the French talent, potentially even included in any permanent move for outstanding goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Ntcham has produced some golden moments in the Hoop over the last 12 months, most memorably netting a glorious winner away to Lazio in the Europa League group stages.
Collins, who knows a thing or two about starring in midfield for the Hoops, thinks he’s just getting started and reckons he can develop his full potential while at Celtic Park.
As quoted by The Daily Record, he said: “It’ll come down to the manager’s decision but he’s a very good footballer, he’s in a high bracket and obviously you’d want to keep him. Players with his ability aren’t easily replaced, you need to weigh that up as the boy is maturing into that special talent we all knew him to be.
“People forget that he’s still a very young player and he’s also had injuries which have held him back.
“Hopefully he’s now over those injuries and can now continue developing. The argument that he needs to move to a top league to develop his potential isn’t accurate.”
Still just 24, there’s no doubt that Ntcham has room to grow and flourish into an even more effective midfielder for Celtic.
Under Neil Lennon he appears to have found new life, motivated to impress throughout much of last season despite signs last summer he could be looking for an exit.
However, with his current contract expiring in 2022 (CelticFC.net), this would potentially be a good summer in which to send him on his way for maximum value.
I’d personally love to see him stay.
As Collins alludes to, we haven’t yet seen him at his peak in Celtic colours and with Brown not getting any younger we could need a third midfield option more regularly next term.