Ex-Leeds United defender Danny Mills has claimed Ryan Christie may have left former Scottish Premiership champions Celtic to join AFC Bournemouth due to a potentially bigger salary at the Vitality Stadium, speaking to Football Insider.
The 26-year-old arrived on the south coast on deadline day last Tuesday for a deal potentially worth up to £3m with just a few months left to go on his previous deal and became Scott Parker’s penultimate signing of the summer – being followed by Swansea City’s Jamal Lowe through the door in their bid to return to the top flight.
This ended a six-year stay at Celtic Park for the winger, who initially struggled to make his mark in Glasgow before going out on two career-changing loan spells at Aberdeen between 2017 and 2018 and impressing in the Scottish top tier.
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The two temporary spells persuaded then-manager Brendan Rodgers to give Christie a chance in the first team – and he has impressed ever since – recording 14 goals in 29 appearances last term and even grabbing three assists in four league games during the 2021/22 season before his move to the Championship.
However, former footballer and current pundit Danny Mills believes the 26-year-old may not be good enough to play in the Premier League yet if the Cherries return to the top flight during his spells on the south coast – and thinks the midfielder may have moved to the Championship for financial reasons.
“It was a bizarre situation with his contract being up in January of all times,” 44-year-old Mills said to Football Insider.
“He’ll be delighted. Bournemouth with the parachute payments will still be decent payers.
“It’s a chance for him to get into the Premier League. Is he good enough for the Premier League? Possibly not.
“Now he’s got an opportunity with a decent club under a good young manager to get them back into the Premier League.
“Look at it in a year’s time and it could be a really good move for him.”
He signs for a side who will be hoping to overcome their demons from last season after their narrow loss on aggregate to Brentford in last season’s play-off semi-finals, previously being in danger of missing out on the top six before former interim manager Jonathan Woodgate’s arrival.
Christie needs to be given a chance in the Championship first before any judgement is passed on him. The Championship is a completely different league to the Scottish Premiership, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the English second tier with a side who have several top-quality players at their disposal.
You could also argue against the claim he potentially arrived in Bournemouth for money.
Although the prospect of helping his former side regain the league title from Steven Gerrard’s Rangers may have been a tempting one, the midfielder has a real chance of getting to the Premier League with Bournemouth and after showcasing his quality north of the border in recent years, he is likely to play a big part in that potential journey.
Just by looking at his statistics, you almost feel Christie had mastered the Scottish top tier and needed a new challenge to further his career.
Promotion certainly isn’t guaranteed at the Vitality Stadium – but the Championship will provide him with a big platform to impress and no one can rule out a potential leap up to the Premier League at some point in the future, with or without the Cherries.