By James Black
Aberdeen star Kenny McLean has claimed Celtic’s loan ace Ryan Christie is “the future” of Scottish football.
The on-loan Dons midfielder has been a revelation while on a temporary deal at Pittodrie and won his first Scotland cap in Thursday night’s defeat by the Netherlands.
The 22-year-old attacker put in an impressive performance in central midfield for interim Scotland boss Malky Mackay’s new-look side as he made his international bow.
Christie spent six months with Aberdeen last season before returning to the Granite City on a season-long loan deal over the summer.
McLean admits the Dons are ‘lucky’ to have the midfielder at Pittodrie – albeit temporarily.
“I was delighted for Ryan to get his first cap and we are so lucky to have him at Aberdeen,” McLean said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“Ryan is only 22 and was winning his first cap, but you wouldn’t have guessed that by the way he played.
“He is quality and he is definitely the future.”
Christie has scored four times and created a further seven goals in 17 appearances so far this season.
The 22-year-old joined Brendan Rodgers side in 2015 but has only made 13 appearances for the Glasgow giants since his move from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
After signing for Celtic, Christie immediately returned to Inverness on a short-term loan but has struggled to make a real impact at Parkhead.
Christie will have one year left on his contract with the Scottish champions once he returns from his loan with the Dons.
The midfielder scored seven times for the Dons last season as he impressed in his initial loan spell with Derek McInnes’ side.