Olivier Ntcham’s performances haven’t been good enough this season, and nobody would disagree with that.
His display at Ibrox on December 29th pretty much summed up his first-half of the season. It was clumsy, lackadaisical, and worst of all looked as though he didn’t care too much about it.
The £4.4million man has been a relatively constant performer this season too. 30 outings to his name and only a handful of positive ones show the struggles he’s had this term.
When injured, Celtic even gave him a new four-year contract. Everyone hoped that would’ve been the moment the big Frenchman settled and started strutting his stuff once more.
But it hasn’t happened, and now we find ourselves at a vital Winter break for Ntcham.
Granted, Oliver Burke doesn’t come into direct competition with him. None of Celtic’s other reported signing targets currently do either.
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Unfortunately for the midfielder, he has plenty of competition who are already ousting him out of the side already.
Scott Brown would always start ahead of Ntcham. Meanwhile, midfielders Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie are undroppable.
Tied down but not a regular starter
Ntcham may be tied to Parkhead for years, but continued dips in performances will only see him drop further down the pecking order at Parkhead.
That’s not to say that the former Manchester City man can’t fend off that competition. On his day, he’s one of the best midfielders in Scotland, and has the widest range of passing of any player in the country.
At the moment, it looks like a mental issue with Ntcham. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying his football, and consistently looks shattered when you watch him on the ball.
He’s giving off vibes of a player who looks fed-up, but why that is would be anyone’s guess. The Scottish Premiership is as exciting as it’s ever been, and the Hoops need grafters who’ll knuckle down and fend off threats to their crown.
Whatever is on Ntcham’s mind, Dubai has to be the solution. Brendan Rodgers could do a lot worse than have a word with him to see how he’s coping at Parkhead.
An arm around the shoulder and a chance to clear the mind could work wonders for Ntcham.
Goodness knows his performances could certainly do with a boost.