Alex Rae has told Superscoreboard that he believes Oliver Ntcham’s lack of form for Celtic this summer is down to the Hoops’ decision to offload Moussa Dembele last summer.
Dembele, 22, left Celtic for a fee believed to be £19.7million (Sky Sports) to join Lyon, where he has since impressed – scoring 17 goals in 41 league and cup appearances for Bruno Genesio’s side.
Ntcham was linked with a move to Portuguese giants FC Porto for a fee close to £10million last summer, after he starred for the Hoops in his first season at the club following his £4.5million (Mail) move from Manchester City.
The midfielder’s Celtic stats are impressive. He has scored 15 goals in 81 Celtic outings, but Scott Brown, Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor are preferred currently. Rae believes his change in form this season is because of Dembele.
“I think he has lost his way a little bit,” BT Sport pundit Rae said. “I think his pal Dembele leaving hasn’t helped him. For me, when he is on his game he is one of the standout midfielders in the country.
“But yesterday [Sunday] I couldn’t believe what I was watching. He was passing the ball out of the park.”
Should Celtic consider offloading Ntcham? The chances of them receiving another bid of £10million from the likes of Porto are unlikely. But if an offer in the region of £6million and £7million comes in, he should be sold.
He simply has not been good enough for Celtic this season. One good season does not make you a regular at a club that are constantly under pressure to win things. You need your best team to play ever game.
Right now, Ntcham is not a part of that side. Even if he boasts the quality and the talent, he has not been good enough and whoever in charge must decide whether he can replicate his 2017-18 form – or sell him.