Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie has lauded Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne following Scotland’s 0-4 defeat to Belgium in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday.
The 24-year-old told The Scottish Sun that De Bruyne was “a frightening player” and has cited the Belgium playmaker as a benchmark towards which to aspire, hailing his ability to create danger for opposing teams even with “two or three men around him“.
Christie, who was voted as Scotland’s man of the match (as noted by The Scottish Sun), has said he plans to watch back the game and study De Bruyne’s performance, with the 28-year-old Belgium man setting up three of their four goals on the night and scoring the other.
Christie began the season in fine form, scoring three goals in Celtic’s first three Champions League qualifiers in July and netting a hat-trick in the opening Premiership game against St. Johnstone. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
However, after starting the campaign with eight goals in as many matches, he has not found the net in any of his last five appearances, his last goal coming in the Champions League qualifying defeat to CFR Cluj almost a month ago. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Since making his Celtic debut in January 2016, he has scored 21 goals and supplied 15 assists in 64 appearances for the club, which works out at 0.33 goals and 0.23 assists per game.
In De Bruyne’s five matches for Manchester City so far this term, he has scored once and provided five assists, averaging 0.2 goals and one assist per game, a much lower goal output than Christie’s but vastly superior in terms of creativity.
His 72 Belgium caps have yielded 17 goals and 31 assists, an average of 0.24 goals and 0.43 assists per game – the same creativity average as Christie for Scotland.
De Bruyne has 42 goals and 71 assists in 179 matches for Manchester City since joining them in 2015, which works out at 0.23 goals and 0.4 assists per game – Christie has a better scoring return for Celtic but far fewer average assists.
The respective goals involvement figures of Christie and De Bruyne will show that the Celtic man is the more potent in terms of goalscoring.
If Christie is looking for inspiration on how to improve as a footballer for Celtic and Scotland, he has picked an ideal role model in De Bruyne as a barometer towards which to strive.
Celtic fans, what have you made of Christie’s performances this season? Let us know your views in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!