It has been noticeable that in Celtic’s last two games Ryan Christie has played off the striker, supporting Albian Ajeti vs Livingston, and Odsonne Edouard against Riga.
Christie performed well in both games. He had a goal and an assist in the 3-2 win over Livingston, and was one of the few players who performed well on the night in the 1-0 win over Riga. He was one of the Hoops’ most threatening attackers on the night.
Now, there will be some debate about playing Christie as a second striker, as technically he is an attacking midfielder. However, you cannot blame Neil Lennon for wanting to include Christie in his starting line-up where possible.
Okay, it was a mistake to play Christie as the only striker against Ferencvaros last month. However, in a way you can understand why Lennon did it.
Goal record is excellent
That is because his goal record from midfield is excellent. He has scored 35 goals for Celtic in his Hoops career. Lennon must have thought that Christie could have got on the end of one of Celtic’s many chances on the night. He did in fact score Celtic’s goal, but the Hoops lost 2-1, as we all know.
It will be interesting to see where Christie plays if he is selected to face Hibernian on Sunday. Lennon could play him as the second striker once more. More excitingly though, he could play Christie behind a strike pairing of Odsonne Edouard and Albian Ajeti.
Could play behind the front two?
That would provide Celtic with many a goalscoring threat. It remains to be seen if Lennon will do that though. For those Celtic fans who would like to see Christie out of the side, the Hoops boss will just point to his goal record.
Replacing 35 goals isn’t going to be easy. Callum McGregor and Scott Brown’s forte isn’t finding the back of the net.
That is why Christie should be in Celtic’s starting line-up. He brings to the side what the other midfielders can’t.