Frank McAvennie has claimed that demoted Olivier Ntcham is “one of the best players” at Celtic and urged Neil Lennon to start him more often this season.

The former Hoops and St Mirren striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the 24-year-old replace Ryan Christie in the regular starting XI.

Ntcham earned plaudits for his performance against Paris Saint-Germain yesterday despite the Neil Lennon’s side losing 4-0 at the Parc des Princes.

The midfielder’s 38 appearances yielded eight goals and four assists last season but Christie, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor were preferred as the midfield three.

McAvennie likened Ntcham to Hoops legends Paul McStay and Alan Thompson.

“I want to see him start more games,” he told Football Insider.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“I think he is a replacement for Scott Brown but I like Ntcham and Scott playing together in the midfield. Scott Brown only scores goals when Ntcham is playing.

“McGregor is a mainstay so maybe Christie has to drop out. For me, Ntcham is one of the best players that Celtic have got. Christie just scores goals but Ntcham stamps his authority on the midfield.

“He can hit a 60-yard pass and I am like, wow. The last player I saw doing that for Celtic was Paul McStay. Alan Thompson used to ping balls but you do not get many of them players now.

“Everything now is tippy tappy football. Ntcham can see a pass and that is great for strikers and wingers. I am a really big fan.”   

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that door has been opened on Hoops signing West Ham forward for knockdown price.

PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.