Swansea City midfielder Olivier Ntcham has suggested that Russell Martin’s style of play and approach to the game was a key factor behind him believing the Swans were the right fit for him.
Ntcham was added to Swansea’s squad on a free-transfer following the close of the summer transfer window with the midfielder becoming the Swans’ ninth new addition to the squad.
The 25-year-old had been without a club after Celtic made the decision to part company with him in August so that he could find a new home.
That came after Ntcham had been deemed surplus to requirements by the Scottish giants mid-way through last season and made a controversial loan move to Marseille last January.
Ntcham only made four appearances in Ligue 1 for Marseille in the second half of last term. While his arrival at the club was the trigger for the eventual departure of their then-manager Andre Villas-Boas.
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Speaking to Wales Online, Ntcham has insisted that he was always going to prioritise game time over anything else when he made the move to a new club this summer. While he also suggested that Martin had played a key role in convicing him to join the Swans.
He said: “I am really excited because this is a new challenge in my life and in my career. I want to get down to playing games and get back on the pitch.
“This is the right club for me because my priority was to play, and not to go somewhere and stay on the bench or only play some games. I want to play as many games as possible.
“When I was on the phone to the coach, I got a good feeling. He has a clear idea of the way he wants to play, it fits with my style of football and I think this was the perfect choice for me.”
It is fair to say that Ntcham’s latest move to Swansea has gone a lot smoother than his temporary one to Marseille last January.
The midfielder will be delighted to feel so wanted by Martin after his arrival in France caused such an issue for their manager at the time.
Ntcham is a player with a lot of pedigree and he has experience winning domestic titles for fun in Scotland with Celtic and also playing in the Champions League and Europa League on a regular basis.
That does not happen by accident and the midfielder is clearly someone with a lot of quality to bring to the table for the Swans.
You imagine that a player of his quality would have had offers on the table alongside the one from Swansea. That, therefore, shows that Martin did well to convince him that he would get the game time in an environment where his quality on the ball could be expressed with them.
It will be interesting to see how swiftly Martin introduces him into the team but you would expect him to be a key player for the Swans when he is fully up to speed.