Leigh Griffiths has not enjoyed the campaign many expected him to in 2020/21.
Fitness issues and injury concerns have plagued his campaign so far. Consequentially, this has meant he hasn’t yet completed a full 90 minutes this season [Transfermarkt]. Uncertainty surrounds his Parkhead future, owing to a clause in his deal that could see the Scot depart Glasgow for free this summer [Edinburgh Live].
In light of these developments, he has attracted interest from Aberdeen and Hibernian as his contractual situation heads to the wire [Glasgow Times]. In a strange turn of events, the 30-year-old came off the bench to notch a last-minute equaliser against potential suitors Aberdeen last week [Sky Sports].
Prompting questions over his future, the Celts should use the last three contests to take one final look at Griffiths. Going into 2021/22, the Celts may lack experience as multiple senior figures are set to head for the exits. If the Edinburgh-born man can prove his fitness, could he still be an asset for Celtic moving forward?
Despite limited game-time, Griffiths’ goal contribution rate this season is fairly respectable
Even though he has not featured optimally enough recently, he has registered eight goals and two assists in 26 appearances including delayed Scottish Cup fixtures [SoccerBase]. Encouragingly, he is routinely involved in chance creation or conversion due to his presence in the box.
Griffiths could feasibly still hit double figures in goals for Celtic this season, something only Odsonne Edouard and Mohamed Elyounoussi have managed [BBC]. Additionally, his hunger as a big game player has not evaporated. Realistically, the Scotland international is unlikely to be first choice at the Hoops moving forward.
Nevertheless, his efforts in essential fixtures against Hearts in the Quadruple-Treble cup final, Aberdeen and Sparta Prague show he can be an influential impact player in a new-look Hoops side [SoccerBase].
Positionally, Celtic are almost certain to lose Odsonne Edouard as he enters the last 12 months of his contract [Transfermarkt]. Furthermore, Patryk Klimala leaves behind a void in the strike-force after joining New York Red Bulls. Nobody is saying Griffiths would lead the line every week for Celtic. Still, his services for another year may provide a useful squad depth option.
With nothing left to play for, the Hoops could do a lot worse than to give him some game-time. With 123 strikes in 260 encounters in his time at Celtic Park [Transfermarkt], there may yet be scope for Griffiths to prove his doubters wrong.