Neil Lennon has been full of praise for Olivier Ntcham following last weekend’s 5-2 victory over Motherwell, revealing he wants the midfielder to stay at the club this summer, ahead of what could be a big season for the Frenchman.

According to the Scotsman, Lennon waxed lyrical about Ntcham following his stellar performance against the Steelmen and stated his intention to keep hold of the 23-year-old amid speculation over his future.

Absolutely. I want him here, I don’t want him to go. Obviously for a while, he was thinking maybe his future lay elsewhere, but we’ve tried to reiterate to him that we want him here and we want his future to be here.

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His all-round game is good. He needs maybe a little bit of defensive work at times, he could use his body better or do the yards a little bit more, but on the ball he’s just got that little bit of maverick about him. He’s a beautifully balanced footballer, he’s training really well, he seems happy and settled. We just want more of the same because we’ve got a helluva player there. 

So does Ntcham have a big season ahead of him?

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It’s not everyday you hear a manager describe one of his players as a “maverick,” “a beautifully balanced footballer” and “a helluva player” all at once.

But that is Ntcham in a nutshell essentially, everybody knows how good he is, he just needs to produce it consistently.

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And if he does that, which his performances thus far show he may well be doing, then he could certainly have one of the best season’s of his career to date.

Ntcham has made five appearances so far this campaign, scoring once and creating three assists, and the Frenchman has made an impact in every game he has played. 

Should Celtic progress through to the group stages of either the Champions League or Europa League this season, with both still a possibility, then Ntcham will no doubt be an important figure and have the chance to really establish himself as a key, consistent player for Lennon.

Will Ntcham be an important player this season?