Ryan Christie recently revealed how he was on the verge of leaving Parkhead and his Celtic career was saved because of Moussa Dembele.
Ryan Christie is the shining light of Celtic at the moment having scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists in just 27 appearances for the Hoops this season. So it might be hard to believe that just a few years ago, he was on the verge of leaving the club after finding it hard to break into the first team.
The Scottish international spent his first three seasons at Celtic away on loan and was very close to leaving the club in order to find some stability in his career after it had started to look like the breakthrough would not come for him at Parkhead.
Brendan Rodgers was interested in moving Christie to Hibernian as part of the deal to sign John McGinn. Unfortunately or fortunately, that deal did not go through as McGinn ended up moving to Aston Villa.
Then he was set for a move to Sunderland but a last-minute exit of Moussa Dembele ended up seeing that move blocked. Christie ended up staying at Parkhead and the rest as they say is history.
Looking back at those times, the Celtic attacking midfielder has admitted his wonder at how things worked out in his favour in the end. As reported by the Daily Record, Christie said:
“It’s strange when I look back at last summer and think of how different it could have all gone.
“At the start, there was talk of me joining Aberdeen on a permanent deal, and if McGinn had gone to Celtic there was talk of me going the other way. Then there was the Sunderland talk as well.
“It was pretty up and down. I went to training not knowing what would happen. The English window closed earlier, so I was told if it was Sunderland I’d have to get off the training pitch and jump in a car. It was pretty mad that day.
“Brendan Rodgers sat me down and I think Moussa was leaving. He just said I’d be needed here and that all other interest was off.
“I was told to stay here and fight for my place.
“It’s strange how it all works out but I’m pretty delighted with how it panned out.”
Thankfully, a number of deals fell through for Christie. Today he is one of Celtic’s main men under Neil Lennon and the club’s top-scorer this season. All that could have been very different though if Dembele had not ended up joining Lyon at the last second.