The importance of Ryan Christie (24) to Celtic is difficult to overstate. He arrived on the scene at the League Cup semi-final at Murrayfield in October last year and reinvigorated a Celtic team that had stuttered their way through the early months of the season.
Christie joined Celtic in the summer 2015 transfer window but was immediately sent back to Inverness on a season-long loan. When that arrangement ended, he spent 18 months of the next two years on load at Aberdeen. His first three years as a Celtic player produced one 90-minute appearance and four where he appeared for part of the game.
Had he not gone on loan to Inverness and Aberdeen the subsequent blossoming of his talent would be very unlikely.
Ryan will be an inspiration to players like Lewis Morgan (23) and Marian Shved (22), who both hope to emulate his patient rise to first team regular, but at their age, Ryan was sharpening his skills with 90 minutes of competitive action every week. Apart from his brief spells on the sideline at Celtic, he has been a first-team regular for six years.
Mikey Johnston was ahead of both before injury and his return, together with the reduced load of European games ahead, makes it less likely Morgan (in particular) or Shved will see more game time. It both get a move in January that allows the regular football, the chances are no better than 50/50 one will make it at Celtic, but that chance disappears if they remain spectators.