Profit Players: Ryan Christie

Profit Players: Ryan Christie

Celtic supporters have been pretty satisfied in recent times after seeing their side return to the summit of the Scottish Premiership table at the weekend.

Brendan Rodgers’ men went into their encounter with league leaders Kilmarnock having drawn 1-1 with Motherwell in their preceding league clash, and thus seeking to bounce back and return to winning ways when Steve Clarke’s high-flying Killy visited Parkhead. And they did just that with a 5-1 victory on Saturday afternoon, with a brace from James Forrest alongside strikes from Odsonne Edouard, Mikael Lustig, and Ryan Christie sealing an emphatic success for the Bhoys to thus return them to top spot in the table.

As such, there have been many thrilled Celtic fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been heaping praise on midfielder Christie for his meteoric rise under Rodgers this season.

But it was former boss Ronny Deila who secured a £500,000 deal for the 23-year-old back in 2015, thus representing a rare transfer masterstroke pulled off by the ex-Celtic chief, but also one from which current manager Rodgers is certainly reaping the benefits.

Ultimately, Deila’s two-year stint in charge of the Bhoys was solid if relatively unspectacular, as although he twice led them to Scottish Premiership success, there was very little to shout about on the European stage, reaching the last-32 of the Europa League in 2015 before bowing out in the group stages the following season.

And while there were a few shrewd additions made by the 43-year-old, with Craig Gordon, Stuart Armstrong, and Dedryck Boyata signed under the Norwegian, he on the whole flattered to deceive in the transfer window – yet the move for Christie in 2015 is proving to be quite the coup.

The midfielder had been playing his football at Inverness Caledonian Thistle before Deila lured him to Parkhead little over three years ago, only to loan him straight back to the top-flight side for the entirety of the 2015/16 campaign.

And while he returned to Celtic early due to injury, he still failed to regularly convince Deila of his first team credentials in appearing only six times under the 43-year-old – it wasn’t until Rodgers took over that the 23-year-old got more of a chance.

But those opportunities weren’t hugely forthcoming either given the Northern Irishman shipped him out on loan to Aberdeen in 2016 and 2017, only to return to Celtic Park this summer and now start to show everyone what he is really about.

The midfielder has been in stellar form for the Bhoys this season in netting seven goals and laying on four assists in 20 appearances in all competitions, five goals of which coming in his last six league starts to help Celtic regain their authority of the Scottish Premiership.

Clearly, the Scotland international, who has played for his country four times this year such has been his excellent form, looks set for a key role in both the present and indeed the future of Rodgers’ Celtic – but it’s former boss Deila who he has to thank for pulling off a rare masterstroke in luring Christie to Parkhead in 2015.

Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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