Ryan Christie’s return to action for Celtic is a “massive plus for Neil Lennon”, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has insisted it was clear to see how much the Bhoys missed the attacking midfielder from the starting XI during his recent absence.

The 25-year-old was forced to sit out the Hoops’ defeat to Rangers due to a period of enforced self-isolation but returned as a substitute for the Europa League clash against AC Milan.

He started against Aberdeen in their 3-3 draw in the league and repeated the feat with a long-range strike in the Hoops’ Scottish Cup semi-final win over the Dons.

Hutton has lauded the Scotland star for his recent form and admitted that a fit and firing Christie is “massive” for Lennon.

“It was a brilliant strike, wasn’t it? Just cutting in from the wide-area and caressing that ball, more or less, into the top corner – it was great,” Hutton told Football Insider.

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“I think it just showed how much you rely on the likes of Christie and Edouard – I thought he made a massive difference also – so to get him (Christie) back is a massive plus for Neil Lennon – heavily missed.

“It doesn’t surprise me they struggled a little bit without those players in the team. They’ll be over the moon to get him back and back to winning ways.” 

Celtic currently sit nine points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership table, although the Bhoys do have two games in hand.

Christie has played 16 times across all competitions already this season and has four goals and eight assists under his belt.

In other Celtic news, Premier League clubs have been tipped to make a move for a “fantastic” Bhoy in January.