Former Hearts and Hibs assistant Billy Brown has lauded Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths.
Griffiths looks set to leave Celtic Park after 8 years and 122 goals for the Bhoys [Transfermarkt]. On his day, he’s a rare breed – a completely instinctive striker with excellent finishing. At Paradise, we’ve seen that time and again.
Over the last two seasons, however, he’s struggled. Issues off the park have had an impact on his on-field performances. A return of 5 league goals this season is far below his own lofty standards.
With Celtic looking to rebuild, it’s very possible that Griffiths will be moved on. This week, rumours have persisted linking the ex-Livi and Hibs man to an Easter Road return. That’s something former Hibees assistant Billy Brown is very keen on.
Brown, who has been no.2 at both of Edinburgh’s big clubs, told the Daily Record:
“All through his career Leigh’s guaranteed you goals. He’s such a great striker of a football.
“I worked with John Robertson at Hearts who I had always said was the best striker of a ball I ever knew but then working with Leigh at Hibs I would say he could match wee Robbo.
“You knew when they struck a ball it was going to be in and around the goal and with Leigh that could be from any distance.
“He is so good with free kicks too which is such an important part of the game.
“Leigh was a big Hibs fan at the time. He enjoyed being at Easter Road, he was the local boy and revelled in the fact he was playing for his club.”
But: Brown insists Celtic could hold on to misfiring striker Leigh Griffiths
However, Brown wasn’t going to go out of his way to suggest a move was anywhere near done.
The next Celtic manager will undoubtedly face seismic turnover at the club. Therefore, there’s use in keeping Griffiths around, as a squad veteran. In terms of easing the transition between eras, Scott Brown is leaving, and a long-tenured presence like Griffiths could be valuable.
Despite that, though, his focus hasn’t been quite right this season, and at 30, it might be time to give a youngster goal-scorer a chance in the spotlight.
Brown continued [Daily Record]:
“Any manager signing Leigh would have to ensure he still has ambition.
“And of course who’s to say the new manager at Celtic won’t want to keep him after having a look.
“If he sees his goalscoring record then the next manager there might think he still has a part to play.”
Leigh Griffiths is one of many with an uncertain future at Paradise. Whether his goal-scoring heroics of years prior keep him at the club, or Celtic move in another direction, is just another sub-plot in a gigantic summer for the club.