Neil Lennon has revealed that he sees Ryan Christie playing a more attacking role for Celtic this season.
The 24-year-old has been one of the Hoops standout men in the early part of the season. Christie has started all of his matches in behind the striker and it’s worked with him netting two goals so far.
And Lennon says that’s where he sees the Scotland international continuing his development.
“We knew his capabilities”, Lennon told the Daily Record. “A lot of the time Brendan or Derek McInnes would play him in a midfield three.
“There’s that string to his bow where he can play in a number of positions. I like to see him a little bit more advanced in the number 10 role as he can play as an attacking midfielder no problem.
“I want him in attacking areas because he can open up defences and has goals in him as well.”
Lennon clearly likes the look of Christie
Christie certainly looks up for it this season. The attacker’s hunger was exemplified by a booking he got in the Nomme Kalju home leg on Wednesday.
Christie chased the ball down like a maniac before hurtling into a challenge in first-half stoppage time. His booking was richly deserved but it just showed how keen he was to work for his team. That must be very pleasing for Neil Lennon to see.
Tom Rogic has offered Celtic so much in that number 10 role over the past four or five years. However, it’s hard to argue that Christie doesn’t offer Celtic more now.
The 24-year-old has pace, a terrific first touch, a good pass and a keen eye for goal. He weighed in with 11 goals last season – a decent total after some severe injuries.
If he keeps up his early scoring form then he will notch at least 20 this season. Rogic managed only five last year.
With Scott Sinclair unlikely to see as much game time this season, Celtic will have to replace his goals in some way. Christie seems like one of the most likely men to do that.