Nicholas claims Leigh Griffiths "must be embarrassed" by how Celtic are using him
Ex-Celtic man Charlie Nicholas believes that Leigh Griffiths could leave Celtic this summer due to a lack of playing opportunities.
Although Celtic needed a goal desperately in the 1-1 stalemate against Rangers last week, Griffiths was only called upon in the 88th minute to try and fashion a winner. Despite being one of the most prolific goal-scorers in 21st century Scottish football, he has endured consistent fitness issues which have plagued his 2020/21 campaign.
As quoted by the Scottish Daily Express (23/03, page 59), Nicholas said: “Leigh Griffiths’ time at Celtic must be up now. His team was drawing against Rangers on Sunday and in need of a goal, yet he was only sent on in the 88th minute. What does that tell you? Griffiths must be embarrassed.
“Things have gone into meltdown for the 30-year-old in the last three months. When it was a big game and Griffiths was on the bench, you always thought he could come on and score a free-kick or a long shot from nowhere. The fact he only got a handful of minutes at the weekend doesn’t look good.
“A new manager could come in and accept Griffiths, left, but I just can’t see it. I don’t understand why the striker isn’t doing everything he can to kick Steve Clarke’s door down and make sure he is in the Scotland squad ahead of this summer’s Euros.”
Celtic can’t afford to look past Leigh Griffiths injury problems for much longer if they persist
122 goals in 256 games undoubtedly represents a phenomenal return for any centre-forward [Transfermarkt]. However, the former Hibernian man hasn’t mustered a single 90 minutes for the Hoops this season [Daily Record]. Now out of the Scotland squad, Griffiths might feel he has to move on to pastures new. Especially if he wants to reclaim that jersey.
As far as Celtic are concerned, there is considerable anxiety considering the striking position next season. Odsonne Edouard is widely anticipated to leave the Hoops. Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala also face uncertain futures as they struggle to make an impact.
With Griffiths’ contract due to expire in 2022, these next few months will be pivotal in regard to his Celtic future.
Turning 31 not long into 2021/22, Griffiths really should be a player enjoying the prime of his Celtic career. Several important Hoops players are set for the exit door. Therefore, someone with his experience could be a valuable asset to keep at Parkhead.
He’s always capable of hitting the target. There will be a determination to prove his worth too. Especially considering we have a new regime coming in this summer.
Retaining a fit Griffiths with the bit between his teeth could provide a real talismanic outlet for Celtic moving forward. This could prove to be crucial as the Hoops seek to reclaim the Scottish Premiership title at the first attempt.