CRAIG BROWN felt privileged to watch two outstanding young talents in Ryan Christie and James Maddison as they spent a crucial part of their early careers developing at Pittodrie in his capacity as Aberdeen ambassador.

The pair have since blossomed into full internationals with their respective countries, but it is Maddison who tempted Leicester City to part with the best part of £20m to prise him away from Norwich City, while Christie quietly makes a name for himself back at Celtic.

While Brown is a fan of both players though, he believes that it is the man who the Scottish champions paid the relative chump change of £500,000 for back in 2015 that is the better player of the two.

“This is my own personal opinion, not that of the club nor Derek McInnes, but we had Ryan Christie on loan from Celtic and we had James Maddison on loan from Norwich City,” Brown said.

“I watched every game that Maddison played and every game that Christie played for Aberdeen, and my opinion was that Christie was the better player.

“And yet, Maddison went to Leicester City for £20m and is now in the England squad.

“He scored a great goal against Rangers which obviously made him a hero in Aberdeen, but when I looked at those two guys, Christie was better for me.

“They have both developed since then obviously, but if you ask me which of those players I would rather have in my team, then I would rather have Christie than Maddison.

“So, Scotland are lucky that we’ve got Christie.”

Christie’s emotional interview after scoring the goal that earned Scotland their draw in Serbia which eventually led to qualification for Euro 2020 after penalty kicks perfectly illustrates for Brown the passion with which he plays the game.

“His interview was great and it shows you what it means to him and to everybody,” he said.

“His father (Charlie) is a terrific guy and the family are real football people, and he’s a credit to them.”