Celtic

Transfer Battle: Olivier Ntcham vs John McGinn

Celtic supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their team taste victory in the Old Firm derby at the weekend.

Brendan Rodgers’ men edged past bitter rivals Rangers 1-0 at Parkhead to move up to second place in the Scottish Premiership and thus round off a fine week, in which they also qualified for the group stages of the Europa League. Yet they also suffered some disappointment in losing star striker Moussa Dembele to French side Lyon in the last knockings of the summer window, which added to an overall testing transfer market for Rodgers and his team.

And one man who did get away from the Scottish giants was attacker John McGinn, who signed for Aston Villa, yet given the start to the season from Olivier Ntcham, scorer of the winner against the Gers on Sunday, Celtic have certainly made the right call opting against luring 23-year-old McGinn to Parkhead.

Thus, let’s take a look at how the two compare…

John McGinn

The midfielder has certainly made a name for himself north of the border at Hibernian in the last few years, with the 23-year-old proving in that time to be one of the most influential attackers in the Scottish Premiership.

The Scotland international scored 17 goals and laid on 29 assists in 132 appearances for Neil Lennon’s men during a three-year spell at Easter Road, six goals and eight assists of which came last season in their run to fourth place in the league, and indeed the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup.

And those exploits attracted the interest of Rodgers’ Celtic during the summer, with the Bhoys reportedly failing with three bids to try and lure the 23-year-old to Glasgow, before Steve Bruce’s Villa got a deal done for McGinn in the last knockings of the English window.

Obviously, that would have come as some blow to manager Rodgers, having reportedly pursued him for much of the summer, but with finances and wages seeming to be an issue, Celtic may well have been right to be brave and stand their ground, and thus opt against upping their bid for the Scotsman.

TT Verdict: B+

Olivier Ntcham

Ntcham made the move to Celtic Park back in the summer of 2017 after coming up through the youth ranks at Premier League champions Manchester City, and early indications suggest that he could be a star in the making.

The 22-year-old bagged nine goals and laid on six assists in all competitions for Rodgers’ men last term to help them to the domestic treble for a second successive season, and he has started this season brilliantly as well in netting four goals in 12 appearances for the Bhoys.

In fact, his dominant display and winning goal in the Old Firm derby on Sunday has further endeared him to Celtic fans, at the same time further underlining just how much of an asset he will continue to be for Rodgers going forward this season.

And with two goals in two Scottish Premiership starts so far this term, Ntcham’s brilliant form for the Scottish giants will surely have them forgetting about the failed pursuit of McGinn in no time at all.

TT Verdict: A-

The Verdict

There is little doubting that Villa’s McGinn has a bright future ahead of him, as well as the fact that Rodgers is likely to be disappointed not to get his man during the summer.

But the Bhoys deserved credit for showing bravery in not wanting to pay over the odds for the 23-year-old given his contract situation, what with his Hibs deal ending next summer, and in Ntcham, they appear to have the ideal man to compensate for that failed McGinn pursuit.

In fact, if the Celtic sensation continues to perform as he has done so far this season, Bhoys supporters will forget about McGinn very quickly indeed.

Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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