Southampton have been linked with a move for Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie recently, and his potential signing could be a repeat of the deal which saw Stuart Armstrong join the Saints in 2018.
According to The Scottish Sun, Southampton are targeting the attacking midfielder ahead of the summer transfer window as they look to add a goalscoring midfielder to their ranks next season. The report from Alan Nixon suggests that Christie’s contract with Celtic is set to expire at the end of 2021, so they are keen to cash in on him this summer instead of potentially losing him for nothing.
Norwich and Burnley are also said to be interested in the 26-year-old, but a move to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side may appeal to the Scotland international as he could link up with his former clubmate and current international colleague Armstrong.
Since joining the Saints three years ago, the 29-year-old has gone on to make 104 appearances for the south coast club, contributing 14 goals and 11 assists.
The Scottish midfielder was one of the standout performers for Southampton in 2020/21, with Saints legend Terry Paine full of praise for his campaign in the recent end of the season awards, saying: “I’ve been highly impressed with him, in terms of his effort and output, and the fact that he has played in multiple positions. He’s shown that bit of spark, and he’s got that burst of pace that can make a real difference.”
Given that Southampton signed him from Celtic, where he predominantly featured as an attacking midfielder, there are many similarities between Armstrong and Christie.
The 26-year-old Scotland international has contributed an impressive 40 goals and 41 assists in 142 appearances for the Hoops, which included four goals and eight assists in the Premiership last season as he averaged a superb 7.33 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Celtic legend Chris Sutton was full of praise for the midfielder after his goals helped Scotland qualify for Euro 2020, saying: “You have to admire his attitude as well as his versatility, to be able to play so many positions at such a high level…he gives it absolutely everything. We all know he can produce moments of magic, but he combines it with a ferocious work rate. Christie is a manager’s dream.”
Therefore, it certainly seems as if Christie could be a superb addition to Hasenhuttl’s squad, and if he can have the same impact that Armstrong has made during his time on the south coast, then signing him could be another masterstroke by Southampton CEO Martin Semmens if the Saints pull it off.
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