Celtic

Flashback: Olivier Ntcham’s Celtic arrival wasn’t welcomed by those who instead wanted Patrick Roberts

In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.

Patrick Roberts had an excellent season at Celtic in 2016/17 during his loan spell from Manchester City, scoring 11 goals and supplying 19 assists in that campaign.

His loan expired at the end of that season, and when the Hoops announced a new signing on July 12th, 2017, some of the club’s fans on Twitter were unimpressed that it wasn’t the English winger who was coming to Parkhead.

Instead, Celtic confirmed the signing of French midfielder Olivier Ntcham from Genoa for roughly £4.5m, as per BBC, with then-Hoops player Moussa Dembele having talked his compatriot into coming to Glasgow.

Those Celtic fans would eventually get their wish when Roberts returned on loan for another season in late August 2017, by which stage Ntcham had already scored twice for the Hoops (against Partick Thistle and Astana).

The French midfielder was a regular in the side under Brendan Rodgers, making 48 appearances in his first season in Glasgow and scoring nine goals. Roberts, by contrast, managed only one goal in 18 games in the 2017/18 campaign, having been ruled out for a lengthy period with a hamstring injury.

Ntcham also appeared regularly as Celtic won a third successive domestic treble last season, but he got on the wrong side of manager Neil Lennon during the summer when he told L’Equipe that he was disappointed not to have secured a move to Porto in 2018.

Lennon said he was “not satisfied” with those comments when they first came to light but, as reported by the Daily Record, the two parties soon cleared the air and Ntcham has made 19 appearances so far this season, albeit with 11 of those coming as a substitute.

In the most recent of those appearances from the bench, the 23-year-old made a massive impact, scoring the stoppage time winner that beat Lazio in Italy last week and sent Celtic into the knockout rounds of the Europa League.

Unsurprisingly, many Hoops supporters on Twitter were unreserved in their adoration for Ntcham after that dramatic goal at the Stadio Olimpico, his fourth of the season so far and his 19th in a Celtic shirt.

While the Frenchman catapulted himself into Celtic folklore with the goal that gave them a first-ever competitive win in Italy, Roberts has scored once in 43 senior club games since Ntcham came to Glasgow in July 2017.

One must wonder what those fans who ridiculed the latter’s arrival that summer would think of him now.

Celtic fans, what did you make of Ntcham’s arrival at the time that he was signed? Have you altered your perception of him since? Tell us what you think by commenting below!

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Flashback: Olivier Ntcham’s Celtic arrival wasn’t welcomed by those who instead wanted Patrick Roberts
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