Celtic recently completed the £4.5 million signing of Manchester City academy product Olivier Ntcham. The Frenchman’s signing makes him the most expensive Celtic transfer since 2007.
The French midfielder is expected to be a big hit at Parkhead after two seasons on loan with Serie A side Genoa. Often compared to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Ntcham can play in a variety of midfield roles including attacking midfield and defensive midfield.
In a recent interview, Rodgers gave his thoughts on Ntcham’s signing from Manchester City.
“Hopefully it is a signing that allows us to kick on over the next couple of seasons,” he said. “I was asked to come here and help Celtic dominate Scottish football and qualify for the Champions League and European football and for that you need players.
“I have been looking for this type of player for about a year now. One of the key things I recognised when I came in was that I needed speed and power in the team. We got Moussa [Dembele] in and we got Scott [Sinclair] in and then I felt in midfield, especially at the highest level, it is very important to have a high level of technique with that speed and power. With Olivier being 21, like Moussa, he has that hunger to succeed.
“He is coming to an incredible club, he has got great qualities and this will be a perfect environment for him to develop.”
Ntcham spent a lot of his time on the Genoa bench in 2016-17 as the team fought relegation. He did appear 20 times for the Italian team, with 10 appearances coming off the bench.
Olivier Ntcham 2016-17 key stats:
- 3 goals in 20 Serie A matches
- 1 assist in 20 Serie A matches
- 10 starts, 10 substitute appearances for a total of 970 Serie A minutes
- 0.5 key passes per Serie A match
- 1.2 tackles per Serie A match