They may already have the best defensive record in Ligue 1, but Saint-Etienne’s first piece of business in the January transfer window was to strengthen the defensive side of their midfield.
Former Celtic midfielder Landry N’Guemo has joined Les Verts on a free transfer after he spent the first half of the season without a club.
Cameroon international N’Guemo played 30 times for Celtic on loan from AS Nancy before returning to the Ligue 1 side. He would then spend three years at Girondins de Bordeaux, playing 67 games before his contract ended last summer.
According to Mercato365 in France, N’Guemo was due to sign for newly promoted RC Lens in the summer, but financial problems led to a their transfer embargo and left N’Guemo without a club.
With Ismael Diomande at the African Cup of Nations and an injury to Renaud Cohade has left Saint-Etienne short on midfielders.
Les Verts have only conceded 13 goals in 20 league games this season, and despite not having the best record in front of goal, they are currently third in Ligue 1.
Fabian Lemoine and Jeremy Clement are Galtier’s regular defensive midfielders, with Lemoine yet to miss and game and Clement over his injury problems, it will be hard for N’Guemo to push his way in, but he is the perfect player to come off the bench and solidify Les Verts defensive position.
With 194 games in Ligue 1, Saint-Etienne are lucky to be able to bring in a player with so much experience without having to spend a single penny.
It may not be the only signing they make during this transfer window, but it will be hard for them to get as much value for money as they will with Landry N’Guemo. The player should be available for their games against Rennes on Sunday and is eager to get playing again.
"ASSE is currently one of the best French clubs," he said.
"My goal is to help them achieve their goals. This is a great challenge for me. I really want to play again. I'm really motivated. I know my new teammates for I have already met them several times in the league. I feel good physically. I worked hard to be ready. It will be up to me to blend into the workforce."
Celtic fans should remember N’Guemo fondly; now it is time for the midfielder to rebuild his career, once again wearing green.