RYAN CHRISTIE has won the race for No.10.
The Celtic midfielder will be given the opportunity to impress boss Neil Lennon in the main playmaker in the champions formation.
Christie had a miserable early conclusion to last season when he suffered multi facial injuries following a brutal mid-air assault from Dom Ball that saw the Aberdeen defender dismissed in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on April 14.
Ironically, it was against the same opponents at the same venue on December 2 where the 24-year-old Scotland international enjoyed on of the highlights of his campaign when he rifled in the only goal of the game in the League Cup Final.
Lennon is an admirer of the smooth Highlander and has clearly defined the role he sees for him in his system as the Hoops eye nine in a row while continuing to dominate the domestic game and attempting to make progress in Europe.
Christie has been earmarked for the crucial No.10 slot and, speaking to the Daily Record, he admitted: “The position that I was playing against Sarajevo, that No.10 role, I love playing in there. When I found out I was starting I was absolutely buzzing.
IN CONTROL…Ryan Christie will take over the main playmaker role at Celtic.
“The gaffer says he sees me in there, so that’s music to my ears. He wants to me to deal with that pressure.
“It was amazing to get back on the pitch. It’s been a long time, even since February it’s been frustrating with injuries.
“Touch wood, that I’m back in for the long run now and can really kick on.
“That is the target. I want to stay in the team week in week out and, hopefully, if I can I need to put in big performances, score and create goals.”
Christie added: “I think the manager is brilliant for all the attacking players we’ve got in the squad, especially for me.
“He wants us to play attacking football. I love playing in that position and he’s big on getting the ball to me, Odsonne and the two wingers.