Celtic loanee Leigh Griffiths already impressing Dundee boss in training

By Euan Davidson

September 9, 2021

Celtic cast-away Leigh Griffiths has been impressing his manager and friend James McPake at Dundee.

In fact, during his first bounce game for the Taysiders, he made an impact that shocked the Dundee boss.

Griffiths was sent on loan after a less-than-ideal summer for the ex-Hibs man. He missed pre-season entirely, having just signed a new deal with Celtic.

Further down in the Bhoys’ pecking order after the arrivals of Kyogo and Giorgos Giakoumakis, Griffiths assessed his options within the Scottish top-flight. Hibernian launched a last-gasp bid, but former teammate James McPake got his man.

The Dundee boss said [BT]:

“He is scoring a lot of goals on the training pitch, that is a given.

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“In the bounce game he got a goal which wasn’t a surprise, it was his first touch.

“I am enjoying working with him. I only knew him as a player in the same team and now coaching him I see how he has developed his game, which is excellent.

“He has worked with people like Brendan Rodgers, Gordon Strachan and Neil Lennon, some really good managers and all those managers have made him a more rounded player.

“At Hibs he was just a really serious goalscorer, a good player, but now I think he can take the ball in and do a lot more.”

Griffiths ready to make impact for Dundee after Celtic exit

Well, it’s at least good to hear that Griffiths is training hard. The former Scotland international struggled with various fitness issues in 20-21.

Ex-boss Neil Lennon claimed he turned up to pre-season training a stone overweight [Sky Sports], but Griffiths has disputed this.

Mostly though, it’s good that the fuss, hyperbole and back-and-forth between Griffiths and Lennon isn’t affecting Celtic. The on-loan Dundee striker’s time at the club has surely passed by now.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Now, he’s impressing for a manager he respects, and will look to score plenty of goals this season for Dundee.

If McPake believes Griffiths has a more rounded game these days, then that’ll be of benefit to his new club. Few would argue that when the conditions are right, he can be a goalscorer.

In other news: Liam Scales ready for quick-fire Celtic debut ahead of crucial schedule