Celtic

Transfer Battles: Leigh Griffiths vs Steven Naismith

Celtic and Hearts are the two high-flyers in the Scottish Premiership this season. 

The Edinburgh side sit at the top of the table while the Bhoys are nipping at their heels in second, with both having been able to rely on two Scottish strikers to bring them success this season in Steven Naismith and Leigh Griffiths respectively.

With that in mind, let’s compare these two transfers…

Leigh Griffiths

When looking at Griffiths’ time at Celtic, it has been a rollercoaster; there have been some highs, there have been some lows.

He signed from Wolves in January deadline day of 2014 for a fairly modest price of £1.13 million (as per Transfermarkt), and had a respectable first season-and-a-half at Celtic Park.

However, it is the striker’s 2015/16 season that will live long in the fans’ memories, as he scored 40 goals in 50 games in all competitions. This helped him collect the PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year, the Scottish Premiership Player of the Year and the SFWA Footballer of the Year award for the second time, after his stellar season with Hibs in 2012/13.

Since that immense season, he has struggled to start as much for the Hoops behind Moussa Dembélé and Odsonne Édouard, but that doesn’t diminish the impact the 28-year-old has had on the club.

TT Grade: A

Steven Naismith

Hearts signed former Rangers man Naismith on loan from Norwich in January this year. The Edinburgh club were mid-table at the time, and that’s where they finished the season.

He signed another loan deal with the club at the beginning of this season, and has started the campaign supremely well. He already has seven goals in ten Scottish Premiership appearances and has helped the club sit at the top of the table, as Hearts have made the best start by a club that isn’t Celtic or Rangers for over a decade.

Although only a loan deal, this is one that looks at this point to be crucial and one which could define Craig Levein’s side’s season.

TT Grade: B+ 

TT Verdict:

When comparing these two, there are number of factors which mean Griffiths wins this battle.

Not only was he much younger than Naismith was when he was bought for Celtic, but he was bought for a relative bargain – he has certainly paid off the £1.13m fee that was paid for him with the success he has brought.

On the other hand, Naismith is only a loan, so not matter how much success he brings to Hearts, he may be gone next season.

Finally, while Hearts are showing a lot of promise this term, they haven’t won anything with Naismith, whereas Griffiths has a proven track record of bringing in titles and goals at Celtic Park.

Celtic and Hearts fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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