Neil Lennon says Leigh Griffiths return is like getting a £6million for nothing

By David Walton

June 5, 2019

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has stated that Leigh Griffiths’ return will be like getting a £6million striker for nothing.

Griff has been out for six months dealing with personal issues. But it’s now been made clear by the man himself that he’ll be returning to team training when pre-season starts (Celtic TV). Over the last three months, Griffiths has been working on his individual fitness levels.

Lennon has also said in the past that a new striker is his number one priority (The Herald). But with Griffiths’ potential return on the cards, you wonder whether this will still be necessary.

Leigh Griffiths hasn’t played for Celtic in five months (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And speaking in the Telegraph, the Hoops boss bigged up Griff’s return.

“It will be like a new signing. He’ll need to get up to speed with his conditioning. He’s working hard and we’ll see where he is football-wise, but we could have a £6 million striker on our hands for nothing.

“He’ll need to knuckle down, but he’s had the club’s full support throughout this, so it’s payback time for Leigh. He’s good at what he does. He scores goals and we want to see him back doing what he does best.”

Lennon’s striker plans remain unclear

It’s still difficult to know whether Lennon still feels that a fourth striker is necessary. At the time he said it, Griffiths hadn’t announced when he would be returning. Only Odsonne Edouard was fit and at the club permanently.

Only Odsonne Edouard was on form when Neil Lennon revealed his striker concerns (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But then, considering he favoured that 4-4-2 formation during his first stint at Parkhead, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Lennon wants four strikers to play with two up top.

It’s absolutely vital to remember that Celtic also have Vakoun Issouf Bayo waiting in the wings too. He ended the season with injury, but come next season, it’ll be time for him to make an impact.

 

Vakoun Issouf Bayo appears to have become a bit of a forgotten man (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

If all three of Bayo, Edouard, and Griffiths are vying for one position, surely we don’t need to strengthen there for now? There are other priority positions that need covered first and foremost.

This should become quite clear in the near future. Lennon hasn’t spoken here about what Griffiths’ return means for the overall striker situation at Parkhead, but he seems confident in the returning Griff regardless.