Celtic may be wondering whether they made a bit of a mistake signing Jonny Hayes from Aberdeen this summer and sending Ryan Christie in the other direction on loan.
While Hayes has barely featured for the Scottish Champions, starting just three league games and losing his place in Martin O’Neil’s Republic of Ireland squad, Christie has gone from strength to strength and was rewarded with his Scotland debut in last week’s defeat to The Netherlands.
The 22-year-old has five assists and two goals to his name for Aberdeen this season and is arguably the most exciting of a raft of talented attacking midfielders who have emerged in Scottish football over the last few years.
And fellow Scotland international and Aberdeen team-mate Kenny McLean believes the sky is the limit for a player whose future at Celtic beyond this season remains uncertain.
The 'future of Scotland'
“He has so much quality and we are delighted to have him. Hopefully he can keep producing the same level of performances,” McLean told the Daily Record of Christie, who was named Aberdeen’s Young Player of the Year last season despite spending just half a season at Pittodrie.
“He has been excellent this season and he showed that again against the Netherlands as he played very well. Ryan is only 22 and was winning his first cap, but you wouldn’t have guessed that by the way he played.
“He is quality and he is definitely the future.”
Christie, a technically gifted midfielder who allies intelligence on the ball with hard-work off it, is exactly the sort of player that Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admires.
And if the former Inverness youngster’s stand-out performances for The Dons have Celtic wondering whether they should give him a second chance, McLean’s effusive praise should seal the deal.