"An annoying time": Ryan Christie was agonising over summer Celtic exit

By Euan Davidson

March 2, 2022

Ryan Christie has admitted that the arrival of Ange Postecoglou made him think twice about leaving Celtic in the summer.

Ultimately, though, it was something the Scotland midfielder had to do. Now at Bournemouth, Christie has thrived in the Championship. He’s scored twice and set up six more, dazzling Cherries fans with his technique and vision [Transfermarkt].

After a particularly difficult 20-21, in which Christie was heavily criticised, the Invernesian had all but made up his mind about leaving Parkhead. But after some fantastic early showings under Ange, including a hat-trick of sublime assists against Dundee, it required some agonising.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Christie said [Football Scotland]: “It was difficult at the time as well because at the start of the season I felt like I’d got a new lease of life again.

“It came at an annoying time because I felt my mind was made up and then it makes you question things. Ange came in and I loved working under him and then I whittled it down and at the age of 26, if my next contract was in at Celtic it would probably have been one that kept me in Scotland for the rest of my career.

“I thought, ‘Is now the time to jump?’ I needed to and I’m thankful I made that decision.

“To be fair to Ange he was superb with me in terms of pulling me in and chatting to say that as long as I was part of his squad he was going to treat me equal no matter the contract situation, which I greatly appreciated. It was only when I sat down and put everything on the table I just felt now is the time to be part of a new set-up and league, it was right up my street.”

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Ryan Christie has always been honest about his time at Celtic

Having played over 150 times for Celtic, Ryan Christie had served the club with distinction. A big part of the 19-20 treble winning side, and a strong creative force, he did well at Paradise.

However, he was more often than not the recipient of vociferous criticism from supporters. When the Hoops were labouring in 20-21, his speculative efforts often rankled with fans. It’s fair enough, to an extent.

He did, though, score 7 goals and make 15 assists in our doomed campaign last year [Transfermarkt]. Make no mistake, things would’ve been worse without the sparky, dynamic creative midfielder. Fine, his distance shooting could use work, but he also scored his share of absolute belters in the Green and White.

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

What he’s saying here is actually quite atypical for a footballer. Admitting that there was some umming and ahhing, especially owing to Ange Postecoglou, is real honesty. Most footballers will tell you they don’t obsess, or question themselves, over big decisions.

Christie has the intelligence and wherewithal to admit that, after a strong start to another campaign at Celtic, it took him a little while to think about things.

He could – arguably should – be playing at a higher level than the Championship. That’s the decision he’s made, though, and you won’t find a Bournemouth supporter complaining.

Read more: Celtic player says his game is “more secure” than it was just months ago