Newcastle are heading for a major transfer disaster over Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham.
What’s the story?
With the Premier League season coming to an end last Sunday, Steve Bruce’s side can now firmly turn their attention towards the summer transfer window and how best to reinforce the squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
The report said: “A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Ntcham, 25, is on their radar once again after they lost out to Marseille in the race to sign him in January”.
Fans won’t be happy
Given all the hype and excitement surrounding Joe Willock, who played a starring role for the Magpies in the final weeks of the Premier League campaign, for Newcastle to go after Ntcham seems like a complete mismatch.
The Frenchman has been nothing short of abysmal this season while on loan at Ligue 1 side Marseille, averaging a measly 6.13 match rating as per WhoScored when he’s been on the pitch, and even missing out on several match-day squads as well, often frozen out under former boss Andre Villas-Boas.
He has averaged just 0.4 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game, and hasn’t managed over a single shot, key pass or dribble per match either on average – those statistics would actually rank him among the worst players in the entire Newcastle squad.
Former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, who is now in charge of Leicester City, once called him a “terrific talent”, while Neil Lennon has said that Celtic had “one hell of a player” at their disposal, adding: “When he is in the mood, he’s fantastic.”
However, the £15,000-a-week midfielder has regressed considerably since those comments, and Lennon’s verdict on him being “in the mood” is also a worrying indication of someone who doesn’t turn up consistently like Willock has done. The Frenchman also angered Lennon in 2019 by intimating that he wanted to quit Celtic for a potential move to Porto, which never materialised.
It’s exactly why Magpies fans will likely be unhappy at hearing that the club are targeting Ntcham this summer, and it would surely make them even more vexed if he came to Tyneside at the expense of Willock.