Cyrus Christie has endured a somewhat frustrating few months in the capital since his deadline day move to Fulham from Middlesborough. Now the season is over the right-back will be enjoying his summer period before the most significant pre-season of his career awaits him.
The versatile full-back, who can also play on the wing will be a Premier League player come August and, despite failing to make a real impact on the Cottagers promotion via the play offs, Christie will be very optimistic he can still play a big part in Slaviša Jokanovic’s plans.
His move from the north-east was confirmed for an undisclosed fee and since then the 25-year-old has only featured five times for the London side, starting just once. The former Coventry City player has found it difficult to make an impact due to the impressive form of fellow right-sided defender Ryan Fredericks.
Fredericks has been superb once again for Jokanovic but, according to reports from the Mirror, the full-back could be set to leave Craven Cottage. Coming to the end of his contract this summer, he has reportedly agreed a deal to sign for Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham.
The news would come as a considerable blow to Fulham, but will surely motivate Christie if the right-back comes up for grabs.
The Coventry born defender has over 17 international caps for the Republic of Ireland and was one of Derby’s regular starters in the last few seasons. The departure of Fredericks would undoubtedly hurt the Cottagers, but they will take comfort in knowing an experienced right-back is still within their dressing room.
Christie was signed in January to add more depth to the promotion-chasing side, and the move looked a real coup as the full-back was one of Middlesborough’s best players in the first half of the season under Garry Monk, but Tony Pulis quickly identified Ryan Shotton as his first choice right-back after taking charge in December.
The move to Fulham should have been the transfer that took the attack-minded defenders game to another level. However, Fredericks form has stood in Christie’s way, restricting him to a frustrating spell on the substitutes bench.
After only playing 135 minutes of football for the Cottagers before he was brought off the bench for the final seven minutes of Saturday’s play-off final against Aston Villa, Christie will undoubtedly be desperate to return to pre-season and showcase his worth ahead of a season in the Premier League.
The future of Fredericks remains in doubt. However, football is all about taking the opportunities presented to you and Christie now has the perfect chance to establish himself as a regular Premier League starter.