RYAN CHRISTIE will turn 26 today and the Celtic midfielder will have enjoyed happier times on personal landmark occasions.
The Hoops star was one of the main culprits in the champions’ fourth Premiership defeat of the season when they nosedived 1-0 to Ross County in Dingwall last night.
The Highlander had one of the best opportunities of the evening to get the team up and running in the first-half, but, from only eight yards and totally unmarked, he rashly booted the ball over the bar and out of the ground after being set up by Odsonne Edouard, who also missed a sitter.
Christie’s high, wide and horrible effort arrived in the 37th minute, 12 minutes after the Frenchman contrived to pass up an opportunity from practically under the County crossbar.
The Scotland international’s form this season has been more than a little mystifying and there has been constant speculation he will be on the move in the summer.
Christie is under contract until June 2022, but has so far resisted all offers from the Hoops to renew his terms.
UP IN THE AIR…Ryan Christie attempts to bring the ball under control in Dingwall.
One thing is certain – the player will be aware that his next deal will be his most important as well as being his most lucrative.
Any prospective move is likely to take him up until the age of 30 and that factor will weigh heavily on his mind for the remainder of what has been a disappointing season for the Highlander who joined the club for £500,000 from Inverness Caley Thistle in August 2015.
The player has claimed a meagre five goals from 36 appearances this time around and his shooting – with the exception of spectacular efforts against Aberdeen and Hearts in the delayed Scottish Cup-ties – has been utterly dreadful.
His consistency at clearing the bar has been remarkable and may even appeal to incoming chief executive Dominic McKay with his rugby background, but it has been a source of frustration and irritation to the club’s followers and his manager.
The player’s last act against Ross County last night was the thump a good opportunity over the bar before he was replaced by Mohamed Elyounoussi seven minutes from time.
There doesn’t seem much likelihood of Christie celebrating his 27th birthday as a Celtic player if the club receive a suitable bid in the summer.