Leigh Griffiths deal: what it means for Celtic, and what it doesn't

By Euan Davidson

July 1, 2021

So, there we go then: Leigh Griffiths has signed a new deal at Celtic.

In terms of sagas, this was probably one of the more tedious ones. The same arguments repeated over and over; he scores goals! Yes, but not often enough. He wasn’t fit! But when he is, he’s good. And so on, with no meaningful conclusion to reach for.

Honestly, though? It’s hard not to think of that scene in Pulp Fiction with John Travolta shrugging. In terms of actual news, where squad development and the ‘rebuild’ is concerned, it’s hard to argue this really means much of anything.

There are natural questions to ask; for example, what does this say about our search for strikers? How many more chances is a player who’s upset managers going to get? There are many, myself included, who’d written Leigh Griffiths off, and for everyone who would’ve agreed, there are as many who believe in him.

But this deal, in itself, is just insurance for Celtic. They know that, when he’s focussed and fit, he can get the job done. From Ange Postecoglou’s perspective, that’s all he needed to hear. By his own admission, “positive conversations” [Celtic FC] were had. Given the new Celtic boss’ ruthlessness in the past, that counts for something.

At the very least, Griffiths is insurance for Celtic

Absolute best-case scenario, where Griffiths is concerned? He’s able to regain some form and be an option for Celtic. Probably not the number 1 option, but someone who can be relied upon to score goals when he gets the chances to do so. We know that he can do that.

Frustrating: Leigh Griffiths / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The worst-case? Obviously, there’s a danger of him becoming unsettled and being a negative influence. However, it doesn’t seem like Postecoglou or the Celtic board will accept that. Neil Lennon has said his piece on Griffiths, but he’s never claimed that the striker caused any strife in the dressing room.

If he has another unproductive season, we can let him go as early as January. As far as I can tell, it’s a low-risk, medium-reward gesture by the Celtic board. There’s an argument to suggest that other, equal players have been written off far more easily than Griff, and that’s an opinion I’m sympathetic to. There are probably some bigger questions about how the club evaluates its talent, but that’s a bigger conversation.

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