This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham has made it clear he wants to leave the Hoops to progress his career while speaking to French outlet L’Equipe.
Ntcham so far hasn’t been part of Celtic’s pre-season preparations having taken part in the UEFA U21 Championships with France this summer.
Now the player doesn’t sound too keen on returning to Celtic Park to play next season, claiming to French press that he is better off elsewhere and that he was disappointed not to join Porto last summer.
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As quoted by L’Equipe, the 23-year-old said:
“Celtic has given me a lot, but it’s the best solution for my development. We can do as many matches as we want but, with all due respect for my opponents, if the level in front is not high, you do not progress.
“I was really disappointed not to have gone to Porto last summer.
“What could be the perfect stage for me? A big championship: Germany, France, Spain – coming back to France would be something very, very good.
“The interest of the Marseille? It is flattering. It is a very big club with very big support. If I went to Marseille, I would blossom, I have always signed for clubs with lots of fans.”
It’s fair to say his comments aren’t the most professional just days before the Hoops kick-off their UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign.
The lack of commitment and interest in Celtic should be alarming for many supporters.
Players have used Celtic as a stepping stone in the past of course. Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama have been given a platform to shine before heading elsewhere in big money moves, to the benefit of all parties.
The difference between that trio and Ntcham though is that they were all stand-outs in the Scottish top-flight before making their move.
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Ntcham isn’t even a first pick at Celtic, never mind on a national basis, with Scott Brown, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor all playing more matches than the Frenchman last term.
His form was so poor that BT Sport pundit and former Hoops striker Chris Sutton branded him as a “huge disappointment” in his Daily Record column last month.
Perhaps the young Frenchman should focus on excelling against his opposition instead of complaining about the standard.