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Celtic: Olivier Ntcham starring after leaving Parkhead behind

Ange Postecoglou’s first summer at Celtic was always going to be one which centred on a rebuild.

The Hoops oversaw a mass exodus from Parkhead as the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and Kristoffer Ajer all departed.

Edouard’s move has gone swimmingly well so far, with the striker already scoring two goals in two outings for his new club Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, Ajer’s Brentford also beaten Arsenal in what has been an impressive start to life in England’s top-flight for the Bees.

However, they aren’t the only former Bhoys to be shining south of the border. Another happens to be Olivier Ntcham, someone whose Celtic career ended in rather unsavoury circumstances.

Who is a better midfielder?

Soro

Soro

Ntcham

Ntcham

The Frenchman has always been a vibrant talent, someone who can change the course of a game with his ability to break through the lines with immense strength.

However, as Celtic’s 2020/21 began to crumble, so did his performances. Neil Lennon started leaving him out of the team and the midfielder was accused of downing tools by talkSPORT’s Alan Brazil.

Football Insider pundit Noel Whelan also described him as a “disgrace” for his performances as he started just seven times for Celtic in the Premiership last season.

That word certainly applied for a disastrous loan spell with Marseille in Ligue 1, too.

Ntcham had headed back to his homeland in a bid to get his career back on track but it did not go well. Andre Villas-Boas didn’t agree with the transfer, and within hours of the player moving back to France, the manager resigned.

Against Lille in March, the midfielder was withdrawn at half-time after earning a dismal 3/10 match rating from ruthless French outlet L’Equipe.

It got worse for the 25-year-old, who was dubbed “unacceptable” and handed a rating of 1 by La Provence after he was taken off at half-time again. That was while Marseille crashed out of the Coupe de France at the hands of Canet Roussellion, a fourth-tier side.

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Ntcham returned to Celtic but wasn’t deemed good enough. The Hoops’ loss is undeniably Swansea’s gain, however, because he’s now showing signs of the player we all know he can be.

During their 3-3 draw with Luton on Saturday, the bullish midfielder was nothing short of exceptional. He initially started the game on the bench but was introduced at half-time before having a devastating impact. He scored one goal and supplied another as he performed a remarkable rescue act with Swansea 3-0 down at half time.

During his 45-minute cameo, Ntcham completed 100% of his passes and also won 75% of his defensive duels.

This was a near-perfect display from a player who Celtic could actually do with now. With Callum McGregor missing against Real Betis last Thursday, another combative midfield brute would have been an ideal replacement.

Instead, they had to make do with Ismaila Soro, someone who was fortunate not to be given his marching orders in the first half.

AND in other news, Move over Bitton: Ange has a rising star in “powerful” rarely-seen 19 y/o at Celtic…

Article title: Celtic: Olivier Ntcham starring after leaving Parkhead behind

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