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‘NEW BHOY OLIVIER HAS THE POWER,’ RODGERS

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CELTIC fans are hoping to get their first look at new Bhoy Olivier Ntcham in the friendly against French aces Lyon at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon.

The midfielder arrived on an initial £4.5million deal from Manchester City this week and was happy to agree a four-year contract.

Brendan Rodgers didn’t think his match fitness was sharp enough for the 21-year-old to be considered for tonight’s Champions League qualifier against Linfield in Belfast.

But the Hoops boss believes Ntcham’s physical attributes can play a key part in their European campaign this season.

He said: “I felt that, especially for the higher level, the speed and the power of the game involved is now very apparent, having worked there and having worked with players at that level.

“To make progress over the next couple of seasons, particularly at the European level, it is important for us to have those physical attributes in there.

“Olivier is a player I have been looking at for near on eight months now, so I was aware of him in the second half of last season and before that.

“He’s a player I always felt could work well for us. He has everything: he’s 21 years of age, he’s got a little bit of experience in playing senior football, but now he really needs that opportunity to go and flourish.

“Technically, he’s very gifted and, tactically, he understands the game at a good level.

“He has many different technical qualities – he can pass, he can dribble and he can shoot. Physically he has everything – he is powerful, quick and good in the duel.

“Mentally, it’s just a case of him taking the next steps in his career, coming to play at a huge club with big demands and opportunity to play in the Champions League.

“For us, it’s a very big signing.”

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