Former Leeds United player and current pundit Noel Whelan has said Celtic will be ‘delighted’ by the fact they managed to receive £3m from AFC Bournemouth for Ryan Christie’s services in the summer, speaking to Football Insider.
The 26-year-old midfielder arrived at the Vitality Stadium on deadline day as the Cherries’ penultimate signing of the summer, nearly ending what had been a busy August at the Vitality Stadium with five signings coming through the door during last month and two high-profile departures being confirmed.
Just before the season began, striker Sam Surridge was sold to Championship rivals Stoke City in a deal reported to be worth £5.5m, before star winger Arnaut Danjuma finally sealed his £21.3m move away to Europa League champions Villarreal after being the subject of interest from elsewhere all summer.
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With these funds at their disposal, they managed to recruit former Premier League title-winner Gary Cahill, Morgan Rodgers on loan with an option to buy, former Aston Villa shot-stopper Orjan Nyland, Swansea City forward Jamal Lowe to compete with Dominic Solanke and former Celtic man Christie, who tore up the Scottish Premiership in recent seasons.
Although he recorded 24 goals and 27 assists in 76 Scottish top-tier games in the past three seasons, bumping up his price tag with that consistency, the winger only had a matter of months left on his deal with his contract at Celtic Park previously due to expire in January.
Bearing this in mind, pundit Noel Whelan believes Christie’s former side north of the border will be pleased to have received a seven-figure fee for his services and said to Football Insider: “They are probably a little disappointed, but you can’t allow the contract to get to that stage.
“To get a fee for him now is better than nothing in six months time. They would have liked to get more for him.
“But, unfortunately, the position they were in was not a strong one at that stage in his contract.
“It was something that was probably a bonus because he could have ended up going for nothing. They’ll be delighted with that.
“That fee has paid for the striker coming in, and a bit more.”
They may have paid slightly over the odds for him considering his contract situation – but they could afford to after seeing Arnaut Danjuma leave for Villarreal for over £20m.
With his star man gone, manager Scott Parker deserved the chance to get in a couple of replacements for the Dutchman who left a huge void in the Cherries’ squad when he left, and may have had to pay the £3m required to ensure this deal got over the line on deadline day.
The signings of Christie and Morgan Rogers have helped the south-coast side to fill this void, with the former being prolific in recent seasons and the latter showing great promise at Lincoln City in the second half of last season alongside Brennan Johnson.
And considering Celtic’s weakened hand at the negotiating table with the 26-year-old’s contract running down, Bournemouth have still managed to agree a deal that would have been much higher if the Scottish international had more time on his current deal.
The Championship side have done well to take advantage of this and whilst Celtic should be commended for their achievement in this deal, so should Parker’s side.