Why Brendan Rodgers should complete this deal in the summer to make a statement
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has made his intentions clear of wanting to sign on-loan midfielder Ryan Christie on a permanent deal. The 23-year old has been at the Pittodrie on loan from Scottish champions Celtic since January 2017 and has been impressing with his displays for the Dons.
Christie is a graduate of the Inverness academy and having come through the youth ranks at his local club, the playmaker was signed up by the Hoops in the summer of 2015. He was subsequently loaned back to Inverness but an injury in November cut his loan spell short.
In January 2016, the Scotsman made his first-team debut for Celtic in a 3-1 win over St. Johnstone and went on to make six appearances in total that season. He made seven more appearances in the first half of the 2016/17 campaign for the Hoops, before joining Aberdeen on loan, where he has prospered ever since.
In the second half of the 2016/17 season, Christie made 15 appearances for the Dons in all competitions, scoring seven goals and registering 3 assists, impressing everyone with his displays as the club finished second in the Premiership behind his parent club Celtic.
At the start of the 2017/18 season, Celtic decided to allow Christie to join the Dons on a temporary deal once again to help continue his development and the move seems to have worked wonders for the player. Christie, this season, has made 32 appearances in all competitions, scoring seven times and registering 13 assists, emerging as one of Aberdeen’s best players this term, which is why McInnes is understood to be intent on signing him on a permanent deal.
However, judging how far the one-time capped Scottish international has come over the past 18 months, it would be foolish on Celtic’s part to allow the player to complete a move to Aberdeen. Able to play out wide on both flanks or as an attacking midfielder, Christie has displayed that he has the requisite abilities to make a difference at this level on a consistent basis.
Both Patrick Roberts and Charly Musonda will leave the club when their loan deals expire and Christie’s ability to slot in on the wings will come in very handy for Brendan Rodgers’ side. Also, given how Tom Rogic hasn’t been able to perform consistently this term, the 23-year old could also contribute as the No.10 for the Scottish Premiership leaders next season.
Rodgers has made it clear that he does not intend to sell the Scotsman in the summer and has him in the club’s plans for the future. But, given that Christie will have just one year left on his contract with the Bhoys at the end of the season, the club needs to act quickly and tie him down to a long-term deal and watch him prosper at the Parkhead rather than with their title rivals.