It was in the League Cup semi-final last season when Ryan Christie properly burst onto the scene and was the game changer for Celtic as they put Hearts to the sword in the second half at Murrayfield. Injuries to Oli Ntcham and Eboue Kouassi meant Ryan got a chance to impress and bhoy did he take it!
Do you remember May 15th 2016?
It was the end of the Deila era in a day where we gave the Norwegian a big send off and he gave us a glimpse of the future and a sense of what might have been.
Celtic had won the league already but the supporters turned up on the day looking for a show and they certainly got one.
The team shown below on that day played without shackles and absolutely blasted past a Motherwell side already on their holidays.
Deila played a very young Ryan Christie up front that day – much to many peoples bemusement . However the new Celtic player would grab a goal and put in a man of the match performance against the Steelmen. Goals from Tierney, Lustig, Rogic, Armstrong, Roberts, Christie, Aitchison put a smile on every supporters face.
It was a glimpse into the future and many of this side would go on under Brendan Rodgers to win an invincible treble.
Ryan would not be part of those sides and in-fact after showing promise in the game against Motherwell the player was shipped off to Aberdeen for 18-months. During that time the player was given a special diet and workout regime by the coaching staff at Celtic which Ryan stuck to religiously .
The player would return to sit on the periphery of the squad with many believing he would be used as a bargaining chip to take John McGinn from Hibs to Celtic- As fate would have it, that deal fell through and when Rodgers squad was down to its bare bones, Ryan was called upon at Murrayfield.
Christie won the penalty which Sinclair dispatched, the midfielder would then hit an awkward shot at the Hearts goalkeeper who would spill the ball giving Forrest the second and not to be left out Christie bagged the third for the bhoys.
Over two years after he had scored a goal for Ronny Deila’s Celtic – Ryan had come of age and the seeds which were sewn by Ronny were nurtured by Brendan Rodgers.
Since then, the wee man hasn’t really looked back. Going from fringe player to an invaluable member of the starting XI. He scored the winning goal in the League Cup after starring in the semi-final. A great story of playing the long game, working hard and taking your chance when it comes.