Long-serving Leigh Griffiths tipped for Celtic exit; Pat Bonner left unimpressed

By David Walton

April 4, 2021

Leigh Griffiths has been tipped to leave Celtic in the summer by BBC pundit Pat Bonner.

Griffiths has had a troubling campaign under Neil Lennon this season. Even after the old manager’s departure, Griffiths still hasn’t managed to find his feet with interim manager John Kennedy.

Griff started the Scottish Cup clash against Falkirk last night, but missed several tremendous opportunities to add to his seven goals this season. He would find hiself hooked for Albian Ajeti for the final half-hour. And as things stand, the Scotland international has struggled for a good run of form since pre-lockdown in 2020.

And after being given a glorious chance to impress supporters and pundits last night, Griffiths certainly didn’t leave Bonner in any admiration.

Speaking on BBC Sportsound last night, the Hoops shareholder said the following: “Yeah I think he’s finished as a Celtic player. He’s gone down the pecking order.”

Leigh Griffiths may get a Celtic reprieve under new boss

Interestingly, if you’d have asked me a week ago whether Griffiths had a future here, I would’ve said no. This was under the presumption that we would have Albian Ajeti, Patryk Klimala, and a potential new signing in the door next summer to cover for Odsonne Edouard’s likely departure.

But a week is a long time in football so they say. And now there’s strong speculation that Klimala could be for the off [Glasgow Times]. Should he head for the MLS, that leaves Celtic short up front. Assuming of course Edouard goes, which seems naive to suggest he won’t.

So say you potentially then sell Griffiths. He’s another on the final year of his contract, so any transfer fee would hardly impress. Not to mention the fact that he hasn’t performed this season either. Clubs won’t be barging down the Parkhead door to make urgent offers. If he was to leave, then we’ve effectively got one senior striker signed up for next season.

Leigh Griffiths struggled badly against Falkirk (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

New manager = new lease of life?

Bonner believes that Griffiths’ time is up. For most of the season, I would’ve agreed with that. However, when the new manager comes in, it now seems a bit counter-productive not to see if he can get anything out of Griffiths. Especially considering the one thing you would say about Griff is that he’s a top talent when on form.

But he certainly isn’t helping himself. His performance against Falkirk was as sub-par a display as he’s put in throughout his seven years at Celtic. Three glorious chances spurned show his lack of sharpness. He’s had his chances too. Griffiths has played in 23 matches this season. His return has simply been poor.

You wonder how many more opportunities he’ll get under Kennedy. But when the new boss comes in (Eddie Howe perhaps?), he’ll likely give Griff once last chance to prove himself. Especially if he’s largely short of options.

In other news, Chris Sutton has been expertly trolling the Rangers supporters already after this afternoon’s Scottish Cup draw.