Olivier Ntcham may be about to decide he no longer wants to represent France in international football, by going with Cameroon instead.
To some that would be a strange decision, because I think Ollie, on his game, is a superb technical footballer who could easily play for France. This is reflected in the interest we’ve received about him from various clubs since he was signed. He’s rated highly.
Ntcham divides our supporters a little. I think he’s a very good player at times, but he can also be lazy and slack on the ball. It depends on what mood he’s in. Since he and Neil Lennon talked over the summer, he’s been as good as I’m seen him when he’s in the team.
On the basis of that form, I’d keep him around.
But that depends, of course, on whether or not he wants to stay. And one of the issues we’ve run into over and over again on that front is that some players long to play international football and don’t really believe they can do it from Scotland.
It’s nonsense, of course; players like Henrik were going to be get international recognition no matter where they played the game. Leaving them out of their national teams would have been inconceivable and counterproductive.
Ollie might want to play in a better league.
He might want more money.
Those are things Celtic can do little about.
But it might just be that international football is something that means a lot to him, and if he can get that recognition in Glasgow why go somewhere else?
We’re fortunate when it comes to Ntcham.
We can keep him here if we want him, because he’s on a long term deal.
We can sell him if a good offer comes in, and we’d take anything over eight figures as long as he wasn’t seen as essential to the squad.
But we also have cover for the very area he plays in, and most people in the stands probably think we can live without him if it comes to that. That’s a good place to be when we’re talking about such a talented footballer.
Is Olivier Ntcham Worth Keeping Around If He's Willing To Stay?
My view on this is simple enough I suppose; we can never have too many of those at the club.
If this gives us a chance of keeping Ollie even a year longer we should be taking it.
On his game, he has few peers in the Scottish game and all of them play for Celtic.
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