Scott Brown’s return to the team ahead of Callum McGregor has been laughed off by the latter.
That, however, is because it’s not even McGregor who’s in trouble with the captain’s return. Instead, it’s young Ryan Christie, who’s been in sensational form since being given a shot against Hearts last month.
The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle man has a fantastic four goals in six Celtic appearances since coming into the side. He’s also managed to bag a couple of impressive Scotland appearances.
Christie has notched assists against the likes of RB Leipzig and Israel for club and country respectively. In every sense, he’s developing into the player many believed he wouldn’t have done.
Tom Rogic is also itching to get back involved once more, meaning two players will soon be dropping out. Like it or not, the most basic move by Brendan Rodgers would be to switch McGregor to the left and take out Scott Sinclair and Ryan Christie.
That would allow Brown to resume his role as a holding midfielder, with Rogic in the number 10 slot. That, many would believe, is when Celtic have their strongest team on the field.
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Christie has to scrap for everything
Therefore, Christie has to fight off this new threat of increased competition. In recent weeks, he hasn’t had anyone breathing down his neck for a spot. Other than Youssouf Mulumbu, who isn’t even an attacking mid, Christie has had nobody to worry about.
Now, however, Celtic’s big dogs are set to return. Christie has done nothing to merit being dropped from this Celtic side, and he’ll be hoping he gets to stay in the team for now.
We’re going to learn a lot about Christie’s character and true quality in the coming weeks. Can he keep those consistency levels up when top players are waiting in the wings?
Does he have the ability to step it up a gear when Celtic need him most like Rogic does?
These are big questions that Christie will have to step up and answer. He’s in the form of his life and has fully earned his first-steam spot.
Now, the challenge is holding onto it as the main men return to fitness.