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‘WHY SHINNIE IS ONE OF THE BEST,’ CHRISTIE

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ON-LOAN Celt Ryan Christie has praised Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie as “one of the best-ever” he has played alongside.

The skilful playmaker and the versatile Dons performer made their return to the side in the 1-1 Scottish Cup quarter-final stalemate with Kilmarnock at Pittodrie at the weekend.

Both were forced to sit out the 2-0 loss to Celtic the previous week, with Christie not allowed to face his parent club and Shinnie serving a two-game suspension.

It looked as though Derek McInnes’ men were heading for a semi-final meeting with Motherwell when the home captain fired them into a ninth-minute lead.

However, Kris Boyd cracked in a second-half penalty-kick to force a replay at Rugby Park a week tomorrow.

Christie said: “Graeme is one of the best players I have played with in terms of when you need somebody to dig in.

“He was the same at Inverness Caley Thistle when we played there together.

“He’s been playing midfield for most of his Aberdeen career, but when Andy Considine is out, he can go into the left-back position and perform like he does.

“I am not sure how his goal has gone in – I don’t know how you can cross the ball from there with your left foot and put it in!

“Even at times when he is not having his best game, he has that drive and leadership you look to and that is vital.

“That’s why he’s the captain here – he has that in him and he’ll play a big part until the end of the season.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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