Ntcham and Christie indicate direction of travel at Celtic


In the dark days of late August, with various players looking for an exit from the club, some at Celtic Park concluded that for all the success of our strategy to scout young European youth internationals who were still below radar, none of them would sign an extended contract after their credentials were established at Celtic.  This assessment included Olivier Ntcham.

The club set its face to stone regarding Moussa Dembele but Brendan Rodgers was so incensed by the player on deadline day that he was told to empty his locker.  Dedryck Boyata was denied a move to England, but while the Belgium international remains in the final year of his contract, Olivier surprised me by signing a new four-year deal.  Something has changed.

While there is nothing inherently wrong in selling players for large transfer fees, selling too many, too quickly, puts pressure on clubs, who will struggle to recruit appropriately experienced replacements to order.

It is good news that Olivier extended his stay.  It confirms he is happy at Celtic, that we can afford competitive wages, and that he has faith in the manager and direction of travel at the club.  His continuing stay will also encourage others to come to Glasgow.

Ryan Christie, who signed a new contract yesterday, has every bit as much potential as Olivier.  He has had the most thrilling three weeks of his career.  A year ago, I was told by someone inside Celtic Park he had the potential to go far, which I dismissed on the spot.  It took patience and hard work, but he got there.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6

  1. I have to admit to being surprised at Ryan’s surge into the team, I thought he looked to lightweight and too easily knocked off the ball the few times he played for us before but fair play to the Bhoy he’s buckled down, bulked up and took his chance, his passion for the jersey is there for all to see:))



    Glad Big Oli is staying too, very good player and with the potential to get even better under Brendan..




  2. I think if we get a decent offer in the summer then Oli will be off. Don’t think there is any signiicance in him signing a new contract.

  3. Call of Juarez, This is where my cynical side comes into play. Is Oli signing an extension to his contract proof that there is longer term ambitions by the club and the player. Or, is it motivated by Peter Lawwell to maximise his transfer fee. I suppose we might know come the summer.

  4. Whereas I look forward to ‘Dolly’ getting a two match ban later on today, I agree with previous posters that the suspensions should be carried forward to the next games against the victimised team. It only seems fair.

  5. Ryan is nearly unrecognisable from the guy who went to Aberdeen.Even there he was not physically strong,or consiste.nt enough.His performance in last years sem final was dire.Great credit to the boy for working on his physique and game.He will have bad games,and he will occupy the bench more when the others are fit,for a while,but he has a big future with us.


    Boyatta next,I hope.We should break the bank for him in wages.Would let usvfree up money for a class RB,and hopefully unearth another striker.We will see the quality of our recruitment team in January.

  6. Good footballers signing extended contracts with our club is a definite positive in my opinion.


    The international break is bad enough without introducing unnecessary negativity.




  7. 50 shades of green on

    Not sure I agree with the withholding a ban until the player comes uo against the team he was sent off against, imagine playing against a team at the tail end of the season that look odds on to be relegated especially up here, there you go son a free kick at everyone and you wont be banned for 2 nearly 3 yrs,



    Or someone knows hes for the off at the season end, same scenario.




  8. These players wouldn’t sign extended deals if they weren’t happy with their environment or how they were being managed.


    They’re clearly happy playing for Brendan.


    The longer we have him as our manager the better imo. Baffled by some posters questioning his position earlier this season. Very short memories and so fickle.





  9. 50 shades of green on

    Twas good to see 2 young midfielders sign new contracts, pleased for both Ryan and Ollie.




  10. Not a fan of VAR, I think mistakes are part of the game, but I would like to see it used to punish thuggery and cheating in the game as it happens

  11. I just wanted to calm people’s excitement and tell them not to worry…the UFO sightings in Ireland was simply a case of a few aliens coming back to earth to return my green and yellow snake belt to me which they borrowed in 1965 to use as a kind of fan-belt for their space vehicle…so don’t worry guys…btw I told them to fly over the govan cesspit and empty their latrines before heading out into space again…

  12. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I have always thought that Ryan had the potential to be good enough to play for us, even when he was at ICT. I think he can be a real asset to Celtic, and he brings something our current team lacks, he has a bit of dig, and is very competitive. I think the lack of these qualities has cost us points in the last few years, and has definitely been shown to be a problem in Europe. I hope some of Ryan’s attitude and dig rubs off on other members of the squad.


    That Dolly Menga in the Livi game… I think he commits a foul every single time he challenges for the ball. Terrible player, who if he wore the Hoops, would be sent off in the first half of every game he played. To coin a Rugby phrase, he is a rucking flanker.



  13. garygillespieshamstring on

    Wouldnt be surprised to find that Ollie’s new contract has a buy out clause inserted as a result of the boyata/dembele situations.

  14. wbc @ 12:23



    Are they going to send you a signal to let you know when they have done it …. otherwise, how could we tell?



    ‘But it is a UEFA 5 star stadium, I tell ya ….’




  15. Hunderbirds are gone


    I hope some of Ryan’s attitude and dig rubs off on other members of the squad.




    Totally agree, he looks genuinely grateful to be out on the pitch each time he plays




  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Great business by the club and well done to Ryan for doing all the right things and getting the reward.


    Now let’s make sure the January window is a success.

  17. Christie has been a revelation but is helped by playing in a better implemented system than in previous attempts to impress.


    Benkovic and Boyata are a lot to do with this as they play higher up the field and compress the space leaving less areas for our opponents to exploit.


    I felt we did not do this against Livi when Ajer played.The cohesion between him and Boyata is not the same so the field is stretched.


    Having a clearly defined role and the safety of a well implemented system behind him allows more expression without fear of exposing our team.

  18. Paul67



    Splendid news for Celtic fans.



    Boosting the value of our ‘want to stay’ stars is good business by Celtic and Brendan Rodgers has been playing soccer poker with Dedryk Boyata since the summer. Makes sense to ring fence your assets the way any major club would try and do in the hyper inflated world of soccer where we have to somehow stay any legai way, ahead of the Scottish gap.



    Not much revenue anywhere else with SKY and Premier Sports looming with a paltry pffers to cover Scotland, where we’ll even be denied Chris Sutto, it seems.



    Boyata got his head down played out of his skin as soon as he’d retrieved his toys to the pram, Celtic are juggling with a a mega contract for Boyata to stay, a sale in January, a pre contract with someone else and nowt in summer.



    Brendan keeps his cards close to his chest and his decision to knock back Fulham’s original bid was a key to being top of the league today.



    Now let’s make sure the January window is a success.




    January window is crucial for our teams development , lets hope the board have a similar mindset.




  20. mike in toronto on

    Good deals to get ON and Ryan signed …. the former I have always liked as he has a natural talent …. and RC has clearly worked hard to improve himself and his game, and we are now starting to see the benefits … and, as others have said, he maybe adds that drive through the middle that we have been missing since Armstrong left …



    Speaking of Ryan’s and what we are missing, yesterday, Delaney’s Dunkey told me that his youngster, Ryan, reminds him of the Silent Assassin, as he will silently and, at the right time, have his revenge upon those that have wronged him or his dad ..



    we need someone like that in our team ….



    someone should have sorted out the headbutter on the weekend…and sent a message to others not to try it on ….



    Maybe Celtic should sign DD’s Ryan as well? I’m sure DD would be a proud pop if that happened.

  21. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas on

    £20m for a 6 year deal to show live Scottish Cup games? Rank incompetence. And £100m for 3 years for the league rights? Should be £100m per year not for 3 years.

  22. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Davie Weir- Scotland players are “weak minded” if they can’t adapt to different formations.


    Errr, what about players who throw their toys out of the pram and refuse to play after a wee bit of criticism from the manager?

  23. 50 Shades of Green @11.37am,



    Hadn’t thought of those scenarios. Probably best to leave it as it is.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6