Chris Sutton echoed the points we made earlier in the week on Ryan Christie in his newspaper column this morning. With Kris Ayer already out the door after completing his £13.5m transfer to Brentford (a reminder for for bluenoses reading this it’s rising to £18m with the various add-ons) and Odsonne Edouard’s Celtic exit getting ever nearer, there has been little talk of Christie getting the move that he’s been after as one of the Celtic want-aways.
The former Celtic striker also admits that he can’t understand why so many on the Celtic support can’t take to Christie who he rated as the top Celtic performer in the Champions League opener against Midtjylland on Tuesday. Well Chris, last season it seemed to these supporters watching on their delayed, unreliable and expensive streams via the Pass to Paradise that Christie wasn’t playing for Celtic but was merely playing for himself to earn the big-money move to England that his dad and various former coaches from the Highlands reckoned that he was due.
Yet Sutton is nevertheless on the money this morning. Christie was outstanding on Tuesday night and as we said earlier this week his game is perfect for the style of football that Celtic are going to play under Ange Postecoglou. Sutton wonders why there’s no big deal on the table at Celtic Park waiting on Christie’s signature and the reason for that is that advances from Celtic were made but there was no encouragement at all from the player or his advisors that he was interested in a new deal at Celtic.
The player with just six months of his current contract remaining will be sold if there is an offer or he may instead choose to see out his deal and leave in January as a free agent. But the question Charlie Christie and those advisors must be asking themselves is to where? The ‘winning a dream move after shining at the Euros plan’ has backfired, to say the least, and perhaps clubs watching Christie last season came to similar conclusions as the Celtic support about him?
Ange Postecoglou brought Christie into his starting eleven on Tuesday and presumably will see the former Inverness Caley Thistle player as a key player on Wednesday night in Jutland. Compare and contrast with Olivier Ntcham who never even made the Australian’s European squad.
Postecoglou has started with a clean slate with his squad but is only interested in players who want to stay at the club. The want-aways can be sold, he”s leaving that to Dom McKay (blue -noses you seeing the fees he’s bringing in? Even did very nicely on the Shved deal yesterday given the circumstances).
“Ryan Christie doesn’t look like a man pushing to get out of Celtic. In fact, I’d say it’s the polar opposite,” Sutton noted in his Daily Record column this morning. “Watching him against Midtjylland in midweek I saw a player with total commitment to the club and the ability to play a vital part in the future.
“Celtic should be going to him with a contract offer right now that he simply can’t turn down,” Sutton opined. “It’s always been puzzling why some of the Parkhead support haven’t really taken to the playmaker.Fair enough, he might not always be brilliant but he never hides, he never seems to lack desire and he certainly seems to give everything.
“At one stage he was one of the first names on the teamsheet having managed to get into the thinking of Brendan Rodgers and although his form dipped last term, you could say that about almost every member of the squad. Christie is an international player who can cover a variety of positions, he scores goals, he creates them and he plays with a high intensity.
“Forgive me if I’m wrong but that sounds like a perfect player for Ange Postecoglou. You can say what you like about him, he gives it his all and I was really impressed with him against the Danes in midweek. Christie was a real threat throughout the contest and he was at the heart of most of the good things that the team did with 11 men and then with 10.
“For all we know negotiations are under way and he’s on the brink of signing a new deal. But if that was the case you’d think it would have been done by now. The fact it’s not puzzles me. When I was struggling at Chelsea I knew at the end of the previous season I was for the off and I knew that it was Spurs, Middlesbrough and Celtic that wanted me. It was clear and it was done quickly.
“If Christie, or Odsonne Edouard, have a queue of suitors I’m at a loss to understand what is the hold up in them going? Or maybe there isn’t a queue. Burnley want the playmaker but they are not a better option than Celtic, England or not England. Anyway, I’m not sure if he’d fancy their style of play. The fact Christie hasn’t been snapped up already tells me the door is open to get him re-signed and that’s a door I’d be walking through.
“At a time of transition he’s a quality player who can make a difference and he knows the scene. Regardless of the ongoing situation, looking at the here and now, Christie was the best player on the pitch against Midtjylland,” Sutton concluded.