Why a dramatic return for Scott Allan will never happen

By David Walton

November 18, 2018

Ryan Christie’s revival shouldn’t be used as a platform to mount a case for Scott Allan.

Both of the midfielders looked like being on their way out of Celtic Park in the summer. Christie, for example, had just come off a positive but unspectacular season on-loan at Aberdeen. Allan, meanwhile, had spent yet another campaign out on-loan, this time at Dundee and then Hibernian.

The pair came back to the club and saw a wealth of talent ahead of them in the pecking order. A mixture of injuries and departures, however, gave Christie an opening against Hearts last month.

Scott Allan has spent his best time at Hibs (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The former Inverness kid took it with aplomb, scoring a stunning goal and looking vibrant and quick with the ball at his feet. Christie’s decision-making has been on-point, and his quick mind on the ball has been invaluable to Celtic’s revival.

It’s all culminated in him signing a new contract at Parkhead. The three-year extension was sensational business by the club, and his future is now secure.

So, if it worked for Christie, then why not Allan, correct?

Well, in truth, no. Former Hibernian midfielder Allan has a host of better players now in front of him in the side. You simply couldn’t justify dropping Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Tom Rogic, Ryan Christie, or Youssouf Mulumbu for him.

The worst decision of the lot was signing in the first place

Celtic famously pipped Rangers to Allan’s signing back in 2015, but he’s made just 16 appearances for the club since then.

He hasn’t improved in any of his several loan spells in recent years, and doesn’t have the same talent Christie had. Allan is now 26-years of age. In 10 days, he’ll be 27. This therefore is a stage where Allan should be coming into his peak form. Instead he’s been held back and unable to find a venue to settle down and play his football.

Brendan Rodgers is building a team to compete at the highest level in Europe. Christie always had the talent to break into that side, with his rapid improvement a big surprise.

Ryan Christie has made a huge impact since returning to the starting XI (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Allan, however, doesn’t have that same skill-set. He’s a hard-worker, and can have an excellent range of passing on him. Despite that, however, the former West Brom operator doesn’t have the consistency levels or that bit of extra quality to work at Celtic.

Competition is as high as it ever has been at Celtic Park in Allan’s position. He has never featured in a competitive game for Rodgers, and that shows just how low down the pecking order he truly is.

In terms of Allan’s future, his contract is up at the end of the season. He simply doesn’t have the time to make an impression at this point.

It’s a shame that it’s come to this, but there’ll be no renaissance for Allan as there was for Christie.