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23 goals, 11 assists – Celtic would be better off keeping hold of their French star amidst Ligue 1 links

Olivier Ntcham has established himself as a key member for Celtic (Getty Images)
Olivier Ntcham has established himself as a key member for Celtic (Getty Images)

Why Celtic should not let go of Olivier Ntcham

According to Le10sport (h/t Daily Record), Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham is a summer target for Ligue 1 side Nice.

The 24-year-old Hoops midfielder is on top of the wish list of priority targets for the French outfit that is managed by Patrick Viera. The French World Cup winner was in charge of Ntcham during his days at Manchester City academy.

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic before the side's game in the Scottish Premiership.
Olivier Ntcham of Celtic before the side’s game in the Scottish Premiership. (Getty Images)

Ntcham has enjoyed a successful campaign this season for Celtic, scoring 8 goals and providing 4 assists from a total of 38 matches across all competitions. The French midfielder has re-established himself as one of the side’s key players once again after falling out of favour with boss Neil Lennon last summer.

Injuries and setbacks in relationship with the boss had seen the young midfielder fall down the pecking order of things at Celtic Park last season, making just 16 league appearances compared to 23 this season.

Ntcham could be a key player for Celtic in the future

However, Ntcham has once again bounced back into the side and even netted the winner in Celtic’s thrilling 2-1 win over Lazio back in November to book their place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Olivier Ntcham celebrates after scoring a goal for Celtic.
Olivier Ntcham celebrates after scoring a goal for Celtic. (Getty Images)

Ntcham has featured in 123 matches for Celtic and has 23 goals and 11 assists to his name. His mere numbers are a testament to his talent and potential.

Considering his excellent displays for Celtic, it would be wise of the Scottish giants to not let go of their talented midfielder amidst interest from abroad.

At present, Lennon’s side just have four central midfielders including him. The other three are skipper Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, and young Kundai Benyu. Brown, McGregor, and Ntcham have been regulars in the side. However, Benyu just arrived from Helsingborgs after a loan spell in January and is yet to play for the Hoops this season.

Though Brown and McGregor have been impressive in the middle, the Celtic skipper will turn 35 this June, meaning they need to think about the future. That said, it is imperative that Celtic cannot afford to lose Ntcham. He is still only 24 and has plenty of football left in him.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown will turn 35 this June.
Celtic skipper Scott Brown will turn 35 this June. (Getty Images)

Moreover, Ntcham offers Lennon’s side versatility in the middle, having featured 10 times as a playmaker in the league this term despite being a central midfielder. Thus, Ntcham is a valuable asset for Celtic and they should do their best to keep him with the side.

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Verdict

Celtic currently do not have too many options in the midfield with skipper Brown almost nearing the end of his career.

Hence, holding onto a player like Ntcham is really important for the Hoops, especially considering their future. Thus, Celtic should avoid losing a talented player like Ntcham, who has proved himself at such short notice.

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