Ryan Christie has disclosed that Gary Mackay-Steven told him over the phone ahead of his move from Celtic to Aberdeen that he was simply looking for more game-time, the Daily Record reports.
Mackay-Steven became the second player to swap Parkhead for Pittodrie during this window. But unlike Christie - who has joined Derek McInnes' men on a season-long loan deal - the 26-year-old has left the Hoops on a permanent basis after a fairly difficult spell with the Scottish Premiership champions.
Former Celtic midfielder Gary Mackay-Steven
The midfielder made just eight league appearances last season with only another two coming in the other competitions, and Christie explained that playing more football was a key factor behind the former Dundee United man's desire to seek a new challenge.
“I was chuffed to hear he’d managed to sort a deal out. He’s a great player and one I’m definitely looking forward to playing with," he said, as reported by the Daily Record.
“He’s so positive with the ball at his feet, – he’s a player that takes on defenders in the final third and looks for that killer pass. Hopefully he can be on the end of a few of my killer passes as well. Gary just wants to play games, he said that on the phone to me.
“Hopefully this season he can kick on and get back to the kind of form he was in before."
With Celtic so far ahead of any of their rivals in the top flight last season, Brendan Rodgers will surely be hoping that Christie and Mackay-Steven do the Hoops a bit of a favour by helping the Dons take points off some of their rivals during the coming campaign.
Certainly, Mackay-Steven will be hoping that with a run of games, he can rediscover the kind of form that persuaded Celtic to target him in the first place.