It is hard to imagine now, but there was once a time when Ryan Christie wasn’t one of Celtic’s most important players. He has scored 16 goals this season, and has been one of the key men in helping the Hoops qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League, win the Betfred Cup and stay at the top of the Premiership.
However, the player himself has now admitted that he came close to leaving Celtic last season, with his future not decided until deadline day of the summer transfer window.
“It’s strange when I look back at last summer and think of how different it could have all gone” he said, as reported by the Scotsman.
“At the start of the transfer window, there was talk of me joining Aberdeen on a permanent deal…and there was the Sunderland talk as well.”
“Right down to deadline day”
“It went right down to deadline day when I was told to stay here and fight for my place. It was strange at the time but I’m pretty delighted with how it panned out.”
Celtic fans must be delighted that Christie ended up staying, and credit for that has to go to a man who doesn’t seem that popular with the Hoops support these days, Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers gave Christie his chance in the first-team last season, and he has only got better as time has gone on.
Hoops boss has arguably improved player’s performances
Of course, credit must be given to Neil Lennon as well. Arguably he has helped to improve Christie’s performances from last season.
The Hoops boss has made Christie the key attacker in his side, and often the team plays to his strengths. That is why he has scored 16 goals so far this season, which is a tally a striker would be proud of.
If Christie had left Celtic last season, the Hoops would have lost a player who looks like being a mainstay for years to come. Thankfully Brendan Rodgers told him he would have to stay, and the rest is history.