Rodgers could turn Christie into Scottish Messi

By Connor Gordon

December 7, 2018

Brendan Rodgers could turn Ryan Christie into a Scottish Messi by playing him as a false nine.

The Scotland international is going through his breakthrough season with The Bhoys.

His versatility means that the 23-year-old gives his manager more options.

Striker problem solved?

The Celtic strikers are going through a tough time of late as the games pile up.

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Both Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths are firing blanks in recent games.

Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard aren’t doing the business of late. (photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Perhaps a change in shape with Christie as a false number nine opens up a variety of options.

Griffiths and Edouard would both have to drop out in that instance.

Nevertheless, the on-form attacker could use his attacking prowess to fill the void. It would also mean Rodgers doesn’t have to dip into the transfer market and cash could be spent elsewhere.

Celts could play more freely with change

Not only would Christie solve a striker problem but the change would help his teammates.

As part of the false nine tactic, the wingers need to play their part in creating chances and help fill the void up front.

Barcelona are the best example as at their peak Lionel Messi was the middle man between Alexis Sanchez and David Villa, allowing them to contribute more.

Messi at false nine for Barcelona allowed the likes of Neymar to get in the box. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

This continued into the Neymar, Luis Suarez and Messi partnership to great success.

At Celtic this would allow James Forrest more space to run into the box and score even more goals.

Additionally, the left-winger, whoever it may be, will also be allowed to create more scoring chances.

The move to make Christie central would allow the likes of Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham an avenue back into the team.

Christie’s physical attributes are perfect for role

The midfielder is the perfect player for the forward role as he has the traits required. The former Aberdeen loanee buffed up during his time up north and is reaping the rewards.

He also possesses a massive engine and constantly presses opponents’ back line.

One gripe with Edouard is his failure to do that in matches.

Edouard has been criticised for his lack of desire to press defenders. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Griffiths is also out of character in his failure to make once familiar runs in behind the defence.

Christie is picking up the slack in that regard and would be able to do it more as a forward. The fact this conversation is being had just shows how far he has came in the last couple of months.

He has grown into a key member of the squad and is as versatile as Callum McGregor.

Who would have thought that at the start of the season?