Celtic’s Ryan Christie was strongly linked with a move to Sunderland, and Sunderland’s boss Jack Ross also confirmed the approach of the English club for the Celtic midfielder. However, the League One club failed to lure the midfielder. It was reported that the manager was looking to pull off a loan deal intending to make it permanent in January, but the youngster decided to stay put at Park Head.
The midfielder recently came out and said that he only had eyes on breaking into Celtic’s first team. He said,”There was talk of it (the transfer) but it never came down to a decision. To be honest, I was solely concentrating on Celtic and that’s all I have been doing since I came back from pre-season. I just wanted to see if I could break my way into the squad.”
”At the start of the season, it was a bit difficult and I couldn’t really find my way in. The manager spoke to me and told me he sees I’ve got a part to play in the squad, so I needed to put my head down and keep working.” – he added further.
Christie was signed in 2015 and has since spent 18 months on loan with Scottish outfit Aberdeen. He has made five appearances this season for the Hoops, but all of them has come from the bench.
Christie is a right midfielder, but he can play in a more central attacking midfield position as well. So is it a big miss for Sunderland?
As of now, it doesn’t seem so as the Black Cats are unbeaten in League One and have won 4 of their first six games. His contract is expiring next season, so he doesn’t have much time left to prove his worth at Celtic Park. Sunderland have considerable cover on the right flank as they have the likes of Aiden McGeady, Duncan Watmore, and Chris Maguire.
Christie is still underdeveloped, but he would have been a decent addition to the Black Cats squad. But it is likely that he would have been a squad player even at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland are one of the favourites to get promoted, and they have done well so far as they are yet to be beaten in the League One. Though Christie is rated highly in Scotland, his performances hasn’t peaked as of now, and he remains low on the totem pole in the Celtic squad. However, as the Scottish international said, he had a talk with the manager, and they see him playing some role in a long season so one expects he would get chances here and there.
Maybe Duncan Watmore’s knee injury could have pushed manager Ross to make a move for Christie, but as of now, they have a decent squad depth to challenge for the direct promotion to the Championship.
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