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Southampton Once Again Raiding Celtic
Monday, 31st May 2021 09:24

Saints are once again looking towards Scotland for an astute signing to follow in the footsteps of Stuart Armstrong and Virgil Van Dijk amongst others, so who is the latest on the radar to make the trip to the South Coast.

Saints have made some very good signings from Celtic in recent years, Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama & Virgil Van Dijk all came South from Glasgow and were big successes and Stuart Armstrong has joined them in becoming the latest ex Celt to succeed at St Mary's.

The Celtic player that is now said to be on Saints radar is Ryan Christie.

The media are reporting that Saints will watch the 26 year old midfielder playing for Scotland and assess the situation, Christie's contract is due to end in January so it is likely that Celtic will look to cash in now.

Transfermarkt rate him as a £6 million player but Saints would get him for far less than that given the contract situation.

But the big question is whether Saints need him or not, he is predominantly an attacking central midfielder and the central midfield are is perhaps Saints strongest area with James Ward Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Ibranhima Diallo and even former Celt Stuart Armstrong able to play in that position.

But Christie can also play out wide as well as in the centre so in that respect is very similar to fellow countryman Armstrong.

Christie's career at Celtic was a slow starter, he broke into the Caledonian Thistle team at at the age of 17, prompting Celtic to sign him in January 2016 and loan him back for the rest of the season.

But his career at the club didn't start well and he was loaned to Aberdeen in both 201617 & 2017/18 seasons.

He returned to Celtic for 2018/19 season and then aged 23 his career was at a crossroads, although he had played in 118 Scottish premier League games, only 17 of them had been for Celtic, this was a make or break season for him and luckily it became the season he finally made a first team spot his own at Celtic.

Since then he has not looked back, but as he approaches 27 he will be considering his future, hence the fact his contract is fast approaching it's end date.

Saints will be interested especially at the price, but as it stands they will be top heavy with midfielders both centrally and out wide, if Saints can land Christie then they will be looking to offload a fair few options in these departments.

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dirk_doone added 09:44 - May 31
On the Celtic equivalent of the Ugly Inside, they seem to think it's Norwich or Burnley:

"Now, Christie is being linked with moves to both Norwich and Burnley in the EPL Not many Celtic fans are losing sleep over it. That’s as much as an indication of his poor form this season than anything else."

Block8 added 10:41 - May 31
We also have young Watts & Jankewitz who can play central?
Let's fill the genuine voids before spending money we don't have unnecessarily!

underweststand added 11:44 - May 31
This is likely to be the first of many transfer threads - don't you think Nick ?
No coincidence that Christie (like Armstrong) is from Inverness, or that the two know each other from their Celtic days. Players soon to be, or now out of contract, and those on free's can be very good signings - providing you get the right one.
Many players are in clubs who don't use them to their best advantage, or in a formation that doesn't suit them often end up on the bench.
These low cost signings can be the making of a team if we get them at the right time.

I think in particular of Rickie Lambert who moved around the lower leagues without anyone signing him until he fitted into our best formation. Likewise Steven Davis made a big impression after he joined from bankrupted Rangers in 2012.
Celtic has become our " feeder club " - Wanyana, Forster, VvD (with no disrespect to the Scottish club) but good players need better opportunities to step up and be seen.

Given the right opportunities Christie could become a good asset to Saints , and I'm sure that Armstrong hasn't missed the chance to speak about life on the South Coast.

Ralph has made it clear that there will be big changes before next season - especially considering the futures of those Saints players who will be OOC NEXT June. So bring them on ...this summer could see the biggest changes since Ronald Koeman arrived - and bought in 8 new players in his first season.


KohSamuiSaints added 14:03 - May 31
Arsenal tried to sign him and if you put his name into Google as I have done , and watched a couple of videos of him he looks a great player and scores some worldly goals … I appreciate that when they make a video of a player you only get to see the good bits … But I would be so chuffed if he comes to Southampton FC …. Together we go marching on on on

SanMarco added 18:05 - May 31
Yes but put Boufal into Google and you get a world-beater for the thirty seconds it takes to show his Saints goals!!

I'm with Block8 on this - let's do the necessary stuff first...

Ali_Diarea added 18:18 - May 31
I think we should play 3 central midfielders next season to protect our shite centre backs, in which case we need another quality CM

tonyr added 19:31 - May 31
A central defender who can lead and organise is what we need. Until the Ings /Ward Prowse, "stay or move" situation is sorted it is impossible to declare priorities.

SaintPaulVW added 22:21 - May 31
If Diallo isn't turning into a back up for Romeu then there is a role to fill. However, is this a priority this year? I think there are more important gaps to fill.

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