Celtic were ecstatic to announce yesterday that midfielder Ryan Christie happily put pen to paper on a three year extension to prolong his stay at the club.
The Celtic-daft 23 year old from Inverness - in his last year of his current contract with the Hoops - couldn't hold back the joy when describing his extension, which was rumoured to have been in the pipeline for the last week:
“I’m delighted,” he said. “Ever since I started to play a bit more in the team, I’ve been happy to make an impact. Celtic is the club I want to continue playing for. It’s such a big club in Scottish football and it’s a delight for me to sign and keep playing for Celtic.
“I’ve enjoyed my football ever since I’ve come to the club. The manager’s been brilliant with me and I’ve really enjoyed playing under him and working with all the staff. I have a really positive feeling right now and I’m enjoying my football at Celtic. There’s no reason why I’d want that to change and I’m delighted looking at what’s ahead.”
Christie, previously on the peripheral of the Celtic first team since first signing for the Bhoys in 2015 and spending the remainder of the first half that season on loan to then current club Inverness Caledonian Thistle, before making his debut in January 2016 playing 6 times then back-to-back spells on loan at Aberdeen said of his recent run in the first team:
“I’ve really enjoyed coming in and I’ve taken a lot of confidence from that,” said Christie. “It’s helping my game right now and I’m definitely looking to improve. I feel like there’s plenty more to come for me which is a good thing. Hopefully now I can kick on now and become a mainstay at Celtic.
“The fans have been brilliant. You’re always going to get that from Celtic fans. You put in a few good performances and the reception makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.”
Christie has made a real impact in Brendan Rodgers' team in recent weeks, scoring 3 goals in 4 games - most notably a thundering long range goal to secure Celtic's way to the final in the League Cup with the winner over Hearts at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in last month's semi.
Also worth noting is that the drive and energy through the middle that Ryan has offered to this team has often been missing at times during this season, and probably has been since Stuart Armstrong's performances in Brendan's debut season with the Hoops.
Christie isn't the only Celt to pledge his long-term future to the club, with the player he has replaced recently Olivier Ntcham signing a 4 year extension, and this season's King of the Wing Jamesy Forrest also delighted to sign a 4 year extension to keep him at the club he has been with since before breaking into the first team in 2010 from the youth academy.
Long may we continue to secure our brightest and best young talents to bumper deals, and hopefully others follow suit.