Gordon Strachan left impressed by Ryan Christie's Celtic career choices

By John McGinley

December 19, 2019

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has hailed Ryan Christie for the way he’s persevered with his Hoops career and emerged as a star player, speaking on BT Sport (18/12 live match coverage, 21:45).

Christie was once again one of Neil Lennon’s star performers during last night’s Scottish Premiership win over Hearts at Tynecastle, scoring the first goal in a 2-0 victory.

The attacking midfielder’s tally for the season now stands at 17, which makes him our top scorer.

Strachan has been left incredibly impressed by the 24-year-old and, speaking after Celtic’s latest win, has given him credit for taking career steps that many others wouldn’t have.

As quoted by BT Sport (18/12 live match coverage, 21:45), he said: “By the way, he determined his own future.

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“He went to Celtic, it didn’t work for him. Instead of thinking ‘oh I should be getting a game,’ he went to Aberdeen on loan. A lot of people wouldn’t have done that. He determined his own future, he made things happen.

“Then when he gets the chance in the semi-final a year ago, he changes his career. He determined his own career, that fella.”

Celtic star Ryan Christie / (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A template for success

Strachan is absolutely correct here. Christie’s Celtic success should really be a template for every other young player at the club, or arriving at the club.

He’s had to show enormous spirit and determination to get his Celtic opportunity, even taking the risk of an extended spell at Aberdeen. He easily could have been a forgotten man at Celtic Park, he almost was.

Let’s not forget he was very much in the same category as Scott Allan just last summer, on the fringes with little hope of appearances.

Thankfully, Brendan Rodgers took a chance on him and the player has subsequently brought his game to new heights under Neil Lennon.

Still just 24, he even has room to grow and improve with experience. That’s a thought to relish as we await his latest performance in a Celtic jersey this weekend against the Dons.