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Celtic have made their third summer signing this week following the captures of Jonny Hayes and Kundai Benyu when they landed Olivier Ntcham from Manchester City.
The four-year deal, costing £4.5million, means that the France under-21 midfielder has left the Etihad, having never played a first team game for Pep Guardiola’s side. Ntcham was in Glasgow last weekend to complete his medical and a few formalities before putting pen to paper.
The man born in Longjumeau spent the last two full campaigns on loan at Italian side Genoa, although the Serie A club decided not to take up an option to make the move a permanent one. He was well liked at the club though and has developed nicely, having played 41 Serie A and Coppa Italia games and scoring 3 goals in the process.
His former coach at Genoa, Andrea Mandorlini, has spoken of him in glowing terms and backed him to be a top level star in years to come. If he’s right, then he’s the sort of player Celtic need in order to improve their dire Champions League form and announce themselves at the top table in European football.
Ntcham moved to Man City from Le Havre back in 2012, when he was just 16 years of age. He signed a five-year deal back then but appears to have given up on working his way into Pep Guardiola’s thinking.
Ntcham is still improving and may spring a surprise or two in the Celtic side in Europe over the course of the coming season. It looks like a deal well done by Celtic and we’ll have to wait and see if Ntcham fulfills his potential under Brendan Rodgers.
Here’s how Celtic’s front four could look if Ntcham is put in an advanced midfield position:
The recent capture from runners-up Aberdeen will be given the chance to impress now that Patrick Roberts is not at the club.
With Stuart Armstrong still a potential departure from the squad, Ntcham could fit nicely into the central attacking midfield and provide great support to main man Dembele.
An extreme danger for Celtic, Sinclair loves to cut in from the left. He bagged a huge amount of goals in the club’s unbeaten domestic season last year and is a crucial member of the team.
It’ll be harsh on Leigh Griffiths, but when fit, Dembele simply has to play. Celtic are doing their best to ward off advances from various European Premier League clubs and Dembele should lead Celtic’s line next season as well.