Why Celtic signing Ryan Christie to a new deal could be the best business of the summer

By Euan Davidson

August 19, 2021

Celtic have done some excellent business, with more potential incomings on their way shortly; but the club need an answer on Ryan Christie.

The Scotland international has returned to form this season, and make no mistake. Already, in the early, early stages of 21-22, Christie has 3 assists and a goal from 6 appearances [Transfermarkt].

And, had Celtic’s strikers been even more clinical, those numbers would be higher. The Invernesian has returned to the kind of form that has made him undroppable in the past.

Plenty of supporters were done with him after 20-21. In a torrid season, Christie made himself unpopular with wayward shooting. He became the fall guy for Celtic’s lack of imagination up front, taking the blame when there was little else on but a shot from distance.

Any long-term fans of the former Aberdeen midfielder would’ve watched his displays through their fingers. It’s not that he was even bad, necessarily, just an unfortunate poster boy for larger tactical problems Celtic had.

As such, there wasn’t a great deal of clamour over his contract situation. Bizarrely, it expires in January. Strictly speaking, a club could sign him now, and get him for nothing when 2022 begins.

Joe Hart is the new leader Celtic have been waiting for

Joe Hart is the new leader Celtic have been waiting for
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

That’s just a ridiculous scenario. It would be prudent, then, to get something over the line. Yet, no contract news is forthcoming.

Ryan Christie is perfectly suited to Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic; he needs kept

Fast, direct, incisive and capable of a devastating pass, Christie was his vintage self against Dundee [BBC]. The running and industry of Kyogo Furuhashi dominated headlines – quite rightly – but it was the Scotland international who made the striker’s afternoon so joyful.

A hat-trick of assists, 2 for Kyogo and 1 for Tom Rogic, weren’t just passes that led to goals. Fine, by definition, they were. But they were more; each an exquisite example of the craft of playmaking.

When he’s at his best, something that’s been more often the case than not in a Celtic shirt, Christie is unplayable.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The signings this transfer window have been phenomenal. Nobody is suggesting otherwise. From the excellent capture of Joe Hart to the exciting attacking talents of Kyogo and Liel Abada, the Hoops have found incredible value from good scouting, taking chances and playing the market well.

But it might actually be keeping a Celtic player that ends up being the best business we do this summer. With nearly 50 goals and assists for Celtic in under 150 outings, an on-song Christie is as productive as it gets [Transfermarkt].

That kind of output is impossible to cheaply replace. So, why bother trying to?

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