Last season, Celtic supporters would have been running out of superlatives for a certain Hoops winger.
Ryan Christie was a ray of effervescent fun last term, scoring 20 goals and contributing 16 assists.
Once all was said and done, it was difficult to deny that he’d played a major role in Celtic winning the SPFL for a ninth successive campaign.
He has been an influential figure at Parkhead for a number of years now, scoring 38 goals and picking up 40 assists during 135 games. However, to suggest he’s become a hero would be rocking the boat somewhat.
That is a major plus point, one of very few that now appear to be radiating from the Scotland international.
If supporters were singing his name last term, they now appear to be running out of insults for a player getting worse by the week.
Celtic pundit Colin Watt issued the perfect assessment of his play earlier this term; “The reason Christie annoys me so much is he’s just so inconsistent. There are times where he’s shooting from 25-30 yards when there’s a better pass on.”
There are rare occasions where his efforts towards goal come off. You only need to look at his rasping drive in the Scottish Cup final back in December for evidence. Though, as a conversion rate of 5% earlier this term will tell you, he defines a lack of end product.
In 2021, the winger has scored only once, providing three assists in the process. If you focus on those statistics, it’s hardly a surprise that Celtic have surrendered their grasp on the SPFL title; Odsonne Edouard can only bear the burden of scoring goals for so long.
Perhaps his downfall has been as a result of Neil Lennon. Celtic’s demise under the Northern Irishman was staggering but it cannot be merely attributed to that.
There is hope that Christie will come good again. After all, your value doesn’t rise like that in Scotland without you catching the eye.
For all of the poor performances that the 26-year-old has produced this term, it’s hard to deny this wasn’t a good deal, though.
After all, if they sell him in the summer amid interest from south of the border, it should provide the Bhoys with a hefty profit.