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Russell Martin made sure Olivier Ntcham was right for Swansea City
Friday, 10th Sep 2021 11:53 by Keith Haynes

As deadline day approached in August Russell Martin had a list of players he wanted or was recommended by the recruitment team at Swansea City. Each and every one of them Martin wanted to know everything about, Olivier Ntcham was one of them.

Russell Martin’s commitment to his role, his professionalism regards everything he does was evident as Olivier Ntcham became a distinct possibility of becoming a Swansea player. Available as a free agent after being released by Glasgow Celtic, the once 5 million pound man, signed from Manchester City, a midfield powerhouse could be just the player Martin needed.

Having built up many contacts during his Scottish international career over 29 caps there were more than enough people to speak to regards Ntcham. Russell Martin : “I spoke to Scott Brown about him. I spoke to him and a couple of other guys who aren’t at Celtic anymore. A couple members of staff, too, who I’ve worked with in the Scotland set-up that work for Celtic. They all spoke really highly of Olivier. He’s played at a club with a huge expectancy to win every single week, he’s played in the Champions League.”

It is clearly important to Russel Martin, and as it should be to any club manager that the player they are bringing in is the right fit, and that includes as much off the pitch as well as on it. Since Ntcham has joined the swans he has worked diligently in getting his fitness up to scratch. It was evident on deadline day there were some issues regards his fitness, but nothing that hard work couldn’t rectify, which although didn’t affect his transfer as Ntcham was a free agent, it raised a few concerns. However, overall Olivier’s fitness was pretty decent. It just meant the swans had to be patient, and he and to work hard to be in line for team selection. Since then his two weeks have been spent trying to reach a level of fitness required to take to the field as a swans player.

As Martin says, “There’s nothing quite like playing games and training properly; training on your own is tough, but he’s worked extremely hard to keep himself in really good shape, and that’s down to his mentality”

It all looks good for Ntcham, Martin and the swans, a pleasing bit of business which we all hope pays dividends this season.

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Photographs licensed from Reuters

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