Why Should Celtic Keep Hold of Ryan Christie?
The future of Celtic’s Ryan Christie has been up for discussion over recent weeks, with the 23-year-old having reminded Hoops fans of his undoubted potential with a standout showing in their recent Betfred Cup semi-final victory over Hearts. The midfielder added to his goal against Dundee the previous week, earning consecutive starts for the Hoops in the absence of the injured Olivier Ntcham.
Christie capped off an excellent performance by confidently scoring a last-minute penalty for the home side against Hearts, taking the scoreline to 5-0, as well as moving the Hoops to within just a point of their rivals at the top of the standings. Having moved to Celtic Park back in 2015 from Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Christie has struggled to secure a regular place in the starting line-up under Rodgers, however the Scottish international is now believed to be closing in on signing a new long-term deal with the club.
The recent form of Christie could well mean that he has a significant part to play in the remainder of the season for Celtic, who remain behind Hearts in the standings, although they do have a game in hand over the Craig Levein’s side. The Hoops are still the firm favourites with the best football betting apps and bookmakers to make it an eight-consecutive Scottish title, with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers sitting four points behind Celtic in third place at present.
Having enjoyed loan spells away at former club Inverness, along with a move to Aberdeen last season, Christie’s future was seemingly up in the air, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season. Having scored 10 goals during his time at the Pittodrie Stadium, Christie would undoubtedly have had clubs queuing up for his signature, although it now seems that Celtic are keen to keep hold of the midfielder for the time being.
Just why are the Bhoys so keen on securing his services in the long-term? Christie is undoubtedly a quality player on his day, with his ability to unlock defences meaning that he offers something a little different to what Celtic have elsewhere in attacking positions. The Scot is also effective on either wing however, having been used as an impact substitute in this position on a regular basis.
Christie has put in a run of impressive performances over recent weeks, perhaps none more so than when he came off the bench against Hearts in the Betfred Cup semi-final against Hearts at Murrayfield at the end of October. With the Hoops having struggled to find their top gear during the first half of the match, the arrival of Christie undoubtedly changed the game, with the midfielder quickly earning his side a penalty. An assist and a goal followed, with the former Inverness man showing what he is all about on the big stage.
Christie is now clearly a player full of confidence thanks to his recent run in the side, with Rodgers have made no secret of his delight surrounding his turn around over the last few weeks. With fans at Celtic Park having been calling for Christie to earn a new deal as a result of his hard work and patience, it now appears that they will have their wish met, with a potential announcement over a new deal expected in the coming days.
Celtic take on RB Leipzig in the Europa League on Thursday evening, having been soundly beaten by the German side just last week, before returning to domestic duties with a trip to Livingston in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday lunchtime. The Hoops know that they must earn a positive result against Leipzig, having earned just one win from three so far in Group B.
Christie is likely to feature heavily for Celtic in the coming weeks, which could well see him add to his three international caps in upcoming Nations League matches against Albania and Israel at the end of the month. The 23-year-old was an un-used substitute for Alex McLeish’s side during their 3-1 defeat to European champions Portugal last time around.