By Richard Parks
Aberdeen legend Duncan Shearer has raved about Ryan Christie and is convinced that he can slot straight into the Celtic team next season.
The attacking midfielder has spent the last 18 months on loan with the Dons, where he has made a huge impact and developed into one of the most potent players in his position in the Scottish Premiership.
Shearer has told the Daily Record that he has been very impressed by Christie, 23, and is convinced not only that he can be a big hit when he returns to his parent club next season, but he could also smash it in England’s top tier.
“Ryan has the brain and the knowledge of everything else that is required to be a top-class footballer,” Shearer said. “Ryan could slot easily into the Celtic team at the moment, without a shadow of a doubt.
“The time is right for him to make a major impact there next year. I’m really looking forward to watching his career over the next couple of years to see which path it takes, whether it be at Parkhead or not.
“The way Brendan is talking about it, it does seem that he will be going back and getting an opportunity and I would love to see him kick on and be a big part of that side.
“In fact if I’m honest I would like to see him go down and have a crack at England at some point.
“It’s not that I want to be taking players away from Aberdeen or the Scottish game, if we’re talking about Celtic, but I really believe this boy can go quite far.”
Football Insider verdict:
Christie has come on in leaps and bounds during his spell at Aberdeen, with his performances this season demonstrating the depth of his talent. A haul of 14 assists and eight goals from 36 matches in all competitions suggests he can leap from the fringes of the Celtic squad into the first team next season. Don’t forget, though. The young Scot has made only 13 appearances for the Hoops and has some way to go before he can be talked of in the same breath as Tom Rogic and company. The ‘Magic Man’ could leave in the summer, especially if he shines at the World Cup, and that could open the door for Christie to take centre stage.
In other Celtic transfer news, with the deal already done, 14-goal and 12-assist attacker will arrive at Parkhead on 28 April.