By Alex McLeish

4th Oct, 2020 | 8:00am

'Incredible' - Exclusive: McLeish can't believe physical transformation of Celtic player

Alex McLeish has been blown away by the physical transformation of Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland manager said Christie had “beefed up” after he first managed him while with the national team.

The Daily Record report that Burnley are long-time admirers of the 25-year-old and are set to make a big-money bid before the end of the transfer window.


Christie is a key player at Parkhead and has featured in all of the Hoops’ games this season and has provided four assists in his last three league games.

“I was working with Ryan for the games in South America against Peru and against Mexico,” McLeish told Football Insider.

“The South Americans got a really strong core strength where they hold you off, stick their backsides into you and they’re really strong on the ground.

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“When Ryan came away it was some of his first games for the national team, but I could see the difference in him after the pre-season training with Celtic.

“He was getting knocked off it in those games but when the new season started he looked like a man possessed.

“I was told he was beefing up in the gym and he had a fitness course to get himself stronger and the difference was incredible.

“Fast forward to the games against Albania and Israel in the Nations League and he was brilliant.

“The game at Hampden where Forrest scored the hat-trick, Ryan was tremendous, his movement off the ball and you could see he got stronger.

“He has been one of the big massive influences at Celtic over the last year or year and a half.

“He’s certainly caught the eye and he’s a terrific footballer.

“I’ve seen a big difference since first working with him and subsequent seasons.”

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can exclusively REVEAL Sheffield United have made a move to beat Celtic to a £10m star.