AFC Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Christie has hit back at those who called his move from former Scottish Premiership champions Celtic to the Cherries a lack of ambition and a money-making scheme, speaking in an interview with the Daily Record.
The 26-year-old moved to the Vitality Stadium on transfer deadline day after becoming a key player for Ange Postecoglou’s side in the last few seasons, only having a few months remaining on his contract north of the border before his late move in August.
However, it has been revealed by the Daily Record in this same report that Celtic still managed to accumulate an initial fee of £2.5m for his services, with a further £1.5m potentially still to come in add-ons after leaving Glasgow.
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Although he was unable to prevent Rangers from taking the title away from Celtic last term, the winger, who can also operate as a central advanced midfielder, recorded an impressive 14 goal contributions in 29 Scottish top-tier games last term.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for the Scotland international, who produced similar stats for Celtic since the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign after making his career breakthrough on loan at Aberdeen, something that proved to be crucial to his career.
However, he has faced criticism from the likes of talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan and former player David Provan for his move to Bournemouth, with the former accusing the 26-year-old of a lack of ambition and the latter saying his move was mainly money-motivated.
Christie has since hit back at those critics, saying to the Daily Record: “In terms of the money-grabbing shout that’s going about – I just don’t understand it. It just confirms to me that most of this stuff comes out of thin air.
“Money-wise, there were better options for me in the Premier League. And if I wanted to be a bit-part player for a club in that league, I’d have gone there.
“But I wanted to join a club where I felt I’d be an important player and there would be pressure on me to play well. Bournemouth was perfect as a team who are desperate to play in the Premier League.
“And if we can get up, hopefully I can be a vital player there. I didn’t want to come down here, play for a club where I’d get 20 minutes here or there and take up a wage.
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“I’ve heard people question my ambition but I don’t understand that at all. I actually see it as the polar opposite.
“I’ve done everything I wanted to do at Celtic in terms of achievements. So my ambition is now to go and achieve something else in my career and hopefully get to play in the Premier League.”
It’s heartening to see Ryan Christie being given a right to a response after being the subject of harsh criticism from outsiders, who quite frankly, had no real insight into this deal and had no idea of Christie’s mindset.
Provan’s criticism of Christie is especially harsh, because there’s every chance he will get the opportunity to perform at the likes of Old Trafford, the Emirates Stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and other arenas where he will still be playing in front of a huge crowd.
But it’s not just about playing in front of 60,000 supporters. The 26-year-old had hit his ceiling in the Scottish Premiership – he had nothing left to prove at Celtic after performing well there consistently in the last three seasons and now gets an opportunity to perform at an arguably better level – with the potential of moving up higher to the Premier League.
On Simon Jordan’s criticism regarding a lack of ambition, it would have been a lack of ambition not to make the jump up to Bournemouth to try and get himself to the top flight.
He will be operating alongside the likes of Gary Cahill, Philip Billing, David Brooks and other top-quality players on the south coast, so this is no step down. And if the Cherries can continue to retain their place in the automatic promotion spots, he could be playing in the top tier of England football next term.