If Leigh Griffiths is to stay at Celtic, then 21-22 needs to be his magnum opus

By Euan Davidson

June 23, 2021

Well, what a morning it was for Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths.

In an explosive interview with BBC Radio Scotland, talked about his relationship with Neil Lennon, Odsonne Edouard’s future, his own contract situation and dealing with rumours. It was busy work, and now the striker’s name is on every Celtic fan’s lips.

He continues to divide supporters. For some, not turning up in shape for our 10IAR season was unforgivable. They say he’s well past his best, and that Celtic need to simply move on from a mid-2010s star. Others, perhaps taking into account his struggles, as well as his propensity to wind up our rivals, are more sympathetic towards Griffiths.

It’s a debate that can get heated, it’s fair to say. But whether you like him or not, it seems obvious that Griffiths is here to stay for the foreseeable. If that’s the case, there’s maybe never been a bigger season for him than 21-22.

If what he wants is to step out of Odsonne Edouard’s shadow, then frankly, the responsibility lies on him. Certainly, he can be coached well, and the tactical system Postecoglou prefers seems to lend itself well to working the ball into the box. That being the case, a player like Griffiths should be eating up chances.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

But it’s on Griffiths’ shoulders to justify his continued presence in the Celtic team.

It’s on Leigh Griffiths to prove his worth; now he may have a free run to do it

There’s a scenario in which Leigh Griffiths is our main striker next season.

Odsonne Edouard will – we’re guessing – be away before too long. That’s not really news to anyone. However, even if someone like Charlie Wyke comes in to compliment Griffiths and Ajeti, it’ll be Griff that’ll surely be top of the pecking order.

Imperious: Leigh Griffiths in 2015 / (Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images)

That might scare people, and with just cause. His last really good season was in 16-17, where he reached double figures in goals and assists. Even then though, he played second fiddle to Moussa Dembele. It was the same story when Odsonne Edouard arrived, barring a brief spell where the two worked in tandem.

But his most prolific season was 15-16. A 40 goal striker in all competitions [Transfermarkt], Griffiths was at his imperious best under Ronny Deila. Largely, that’s because he was the main man, unless Nadir Ciftci, Carlton Cole or Colin Kazim-Richards were able to contribute meaningfully. Spoiler alert: they did not.

So, two things need to happen for Griffiths to be a success in 21-22. He needs to be match fit, and able to last 90 minutes at least once a week. And he needs an attack to be largely built around him.

Can you see that happening? It’s another debate to have.

READ MORE: Yet another young talent departs Celtic


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