Russell Martin confident over Ntcham fitness ahead of Hull
Russell Martin is confident deadline day signing Olivier Ntcham will be ready to make his Swansea City debut against Hull City this weekend.
The Frenchman signed a three-year deal last week, joining Michael Obafemi and loanee Rhys Williams as the club’s latest additions.
Ntcham signed as a free agent after spending recent weeks training alone at the French national base at Clairefontaine, most recently playing on loan at Ligue 1 giants Marseille last season.
Martin says that training alone inevitably means there will be a period of adaptation, but he believes that the 25-year-old former Celtic midfielder will be ready to take the field on Saturday as the Swans get set to host the Tigers.
“We do need to be a bit patient, but he’s arrived in incredible shape,” said the Swans head coach.
“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.
“I think he’s got a really good mentality to work, and I spoke to a few players at Celtic about that; about him and his approach to training, and they spoke so highly of him.
“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...
“We have to be a little bit patient, but he’s in good shape and he’s a brilliant player, and I expect him to be ready to be in a position to start against Hull.”