Alan Stubbs has told BT Sport (broadcast 28/9 from 12:00) that Ryan Christie is good enough for a top eight side in the Premier League, while Ally McCoist compared the Celtic star with James Maddison.
Christie has made an outstanding start to this season. The 24-year-old has scored 11 goals in all competitions, including three in his last three.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for Christie, who went into last season looking set to face a tough task to secure a spot in the team having been loaned out to Aberdeen for the previous 18 months.
He has established himself as the Hoops’ talisman. But Stubbs fears that the Boys will soon face a battle to keep the Scotland international at Parkhead, while McCoist suggested that he reminds him of the Leicester City star.
“He’s got a bit of everything. And you can see why Premier League clubs will be looking. It’s going to be difficult for Celtic to keep hold of him because I think he is that good. I think he could walk into a top eight Premier League team now,” Stubbs told BT Sport.
“I can see similarities in Maddison at Leicester. I think they both take the ball in the same way, they’re both very, very creative. They’re lovely to watch going forward. He’s been excellent,” McCoist suggested.
It is a big statement to compare Christie with Maddison. The Englishman is one of the most exciting talents in the Premier League right now, and the Manchester Evening News suggested during the summer Manchester United could have to be prepared to pay £80 million next year to sign their transfer target.
It is, of course, not the first time that the pair will have been compared. Christie arrived at Aberdeen in the same month that Maddison’s loan spell at Pittodrie came to an end in 2017.
No-one could have really imagined back then how much both players would improve. And perhaps it may not be too long before they are coming up against each other in the Premier League.