Tom Rogic’s chance to seize the number 10 role once more is now firmly in his grasp.
The Australian is only just back from a medium-term injury that kept him out of first-team action at Parkhead for two months. In recent weeks, he’s been building up his fitness levels, and announced his return with a stunning third goal against Aberdeen on Sunday.
Rogic will likely be one of the first to have Christie in his thoughts. Everyone wishes the former Inverness star a speedy recovery in what’s been a stunning breakthrough campaign from him.
But the Aussie must look at this as a chance to finally reclaim his number 10 spot.
When he’s playing, Celtic appear to play in their more recognised 4-2-3-1 formation. Rogic can at times drop deep, but he’s a natural number 10 and enjoys picking the ball up in that area with the likes of James Forrest, Jonny Hayes, and Odsonne Edouard available to pick out.
Rogic and Christie are rarely in the same team
But when Christie is on the pitch, it’s usually at the expense of Rogic. Only Christie doesn’t naturally play in the number 10 spot. This season, the attacking midfielder has more been operating like a number eight – buzzing around the midfield and looking for openings.
So whilst both Christie and Rogic don’t necessarily play in the same position, one often comes at the expense of the other.
Rogic now has to be the replacement, and what an opportunity for him. Celtic have huge matches against the likes of Hibernian, Aberdeen, Rangers, and Hearts to come. Trips to Pittodrie, Easter Road, and Ibrox won’t be easy.
Therefore, if Rogic can impress in them, then he can really reclaim his spot in the team permanently, and give Christie some real work to do to get back into the side.
This is the opportunity Rogic has needed. Christie’s form meant that they were always going to be rotated between now until the end of the season. But his knock provides Rogic with the chance to make himself a key part of the starting XI once again.
Sunday was a fine start, and now he’ll know he’ll have some big chances ahead to solidify himself.