Stats Which Show Why Neil Lennon is Absolutely Right in Offering Ryan Christie a ‘Bumper Long-Term’ Deal at Celtic

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic have enjoyed a stellar run of form in recent years. They have completed the treble-treble and have impressed in Europe this season. The arrival of manager Neil Lennon, after Brendan Rodgers’ departure to Leicester, has revitalized the squad. With a chance to make history in the upcoming season, he will be looking to keep his key players and possibly strengthen the squad. Among these players is Scottish international Ryan Christie, who has had his best season in recent years, scoring 20 this season in all competitions for Celtic.

Currently tied down till 2022, Lennon is looking to tie down Ryan Christie to a new long-term contract with a significant wage hike, to ward off any potential bids. The gaffer has heaped praise on the attacker and has applauded the wide man’s all-round game. Marvelling at his 19-goal season, the Parkhead manager was certain about the fact that Christie would have scored more, had the season not been cut short abruptly.

Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan has also appreciated the move by the Scottish powerbrokers. Speaking to Football Insider, he said:

“Christie has everything you would like from a wide player. He can create, he can score and has the pace to burn. He will be there for another two, three seasons with his best years still to come.”

Ryan Christie has been deployed as a part of Celtic’s attacking trident this season. He has either played on the wings or has lined up behind Odsonne Edouard as a number 10. His ability to link up play either through the centre or out wide as well as his knack of scoring goals from outside the box makes him a key asset to the Celtic set up.

The 25-year-old has exceptional passing and vision in the final third and is a constant threat to opposition defenders. With his overall skill as an attacker, certainly second to none in the Celtic squad, he offers unpredictability and has been the Hoops’ saviour on various occasions through the season.

Ryan Christie Celtic
Image obtained via the Daily Record

Ryan Christie has averaged a goal every 2 games in the Scottish Premiership and has also contributed in assists, setting up 11 for his teammates. The former Inverness midfielder played a large role in Celtic’s historic win over Lazio at home, as he scored and assisted in their 2-1 win. His best showing came against St. Johnstone in Celtic’s first Scottish Premiership game of the season, as he went on to bag a hattrick and an assist before he was subbed off in the 71st minute.

Celtic have won 9 titles in a row ever since the 2012 season. The upcoming 2020-2021 season presents them with the opportunity to win their 10 Scottish Premiership title in a row and create history. Alongside Christie’s contract extension, they have also been boosted by goalkeeper Fraser Forster’s willingness to stay at the club. Currently, on loan from Southampton, the Hoops are looking to tie him down permanently at Parkhead.

Fellow Saints forward Mohamed Elyounoussi has also been on loan at Celtic, but his high wage bill could see him return to St. Mary’s. With the return of fans being a large uncertainty, Neil Lennon has no clue about his available transfer funds for the upcoming season.

However, they have been linked with Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser in an audacious free transfer as he looks to leave the Cherries for greener pastures. They could also sign Manchester City forward Patrick Roberts for a cheaper price of £2.5 million, as his value has plummeted from a high of £6.75 million. Roberts has enjoyed success with the Hoops over three loan spells but has yet to find his feet with a permanent contract.

Will Celtic’s winning form continue next season, or will Steven Gerrard’s roaring Rangers side spoil the party for them? Only time will tell, but for now, it looks like the Celts are on their way to cement their place in the history books for years to come.

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