Ryan Christie’s stats this season show a player who thrives on getting in amongst the goals and assists.
The former Inverness and Aberdeen midfielder fired home a brace in Dingwall to help send Celtic on their way to a 4-1 success against Ross County yesterday. They were his first league goals since netting a header in the 1-1 draw with Hibs back in September.
But nobody can deny Christie’s influence overall. He’s now netted 15 goals in all competitions as well as notching nine assists (Transfermarkt). Christie only managed 11 goals nine assists in the whole of last season (Transfermarkt).
And he’s revealed that a discussion with manager Neil Lennon helped spur him on to boost his numbers.
“I’ve been trying to add goals to my game. The gaffer’s made it clear when he pushes me into more attacking positions, whether it’s in behind the striker or off the right, that I need to chip in with goals or assists.
“I like having that pressure going forward to create goals and score goals. I’ve got my own targets, a few more before Christmas, so I’m happy with how it’s going so far.
“We play a lot of games, and the boys I’ve got around me in these games help me. I probably get more chances than normal midfielders in the country.”
Christie’s return to goalscoring form is a vital cog for Celtic
It’s crazy to think that a player of Christie’s ilk hadn’t scored in four league games. Considering the numbers he’s posting, it shows the standards he’s managed to set himself this season.
So much so that his contribution to the cause is of mighty importance to our success. He’s not just our first-choice number 10, but he’s now our top scorer ahead of Odsonne Edouard and James Forrest.
In recent games, he’s shown an added string to his bow. Once again, he was playing off the right side yesterday beside Jeremie Frimpong. However, his movement seemed to have him all over the final third at times.
It gives Lennon yet another option to go with if necessary. Considering James Forrest is the only first-team right-winger available, Christie provides good cover when Jimmy has other duties such as down the left-hand side.
Christie has the look of a player who’s constantly evolving and thriving with the added responsibility on his shoulders. Neil encouraging him to get more goals and assists has worked a treat, and he looks a real classy player these days.
We couldn’t be in better shape heading into the final eight games between now and the end of December. With Christie, Forrest, Mikey Johnston, Tom Rogic, Lewis Morgan, and Mohamed Elyounoussi all potential options – our firepower looks as strong as it has been in some time.