Olivier Ntcham speaks after Marseille loan controversy and boss resignation: Celtic midfielder hopes to bring positivity and personality

Olivier Ntcham has given his first interview since his controversial loan move from Celtic, which led to the exit of Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic walks off after the UEFA Europa League Group H stage match between AC Milan and Celtic at San Siro Stadium on December 03, 2020 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

The French midfielder’s move was rejected by the first-team coach at the Ligue 1 club – but completed without his knowledge - leading to an explosive press conference and the former Chelsea and Spurs manager offering his resignation. He has since been suspended by the club.

Ntcham’s interview with Marseille’s official club website was far less controversial and the 24-year-old pledged to bring his ‘personality and positivity’ to his new team-mates.

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Neil Lennon revealed Ntcham had been eyeing a move for some time before the move was finally completed on deadline day, despite a travel hitch and the player remaining grounded in Scotland before the deal went through.

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St. Johnstone at Celtic Park on December 06, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As well as Villas-Boas, sections of the ninth-placed side’s fans also criticised the move after uncovering comments made by the Frenchman in support of arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

But Ntcham said: “May they all welcome me and I hope we will do great things together.”

He added: “It’s a great pleasure to sign for Olympique Marseille. I didn't believe it at the very beginning but the more the minutes went by the more I believed it OM is the biggest club in France with the biggest passion, with the biggest supporters, they have accomplished great things in French and European football too.

After a ‘very good learning experience’ playing in the UK with Manchester City and then later Celtic he went on: “It was a bit complicated to adapt to the start in England then everything went well I learned several different game-styles, English, Italian and Scottish football.

Olivier Ntcham during a Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium, on October 25, 2020, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“It’s the first time that I’ve played in Ligue 1, it’s the first time that I’ve discovered ‘French football’. It's a new experience for me – a new challenge for me.”

Of his new team-mates he added: “I knew Pape Gueye. He was much younger when I was in Le Havre. He was really much younger. I knew Max Lopez before he left too.

"I want to bring my personality already to energize them, bring a lot of positivity and I hope that we will do great things together.”

Ntcham sat out the midweek draw with Lens but could feature on Sunday night against PSG.

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