Former Scotland defender Alan Hutton believes that Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths may need to leave Parkhead to get regular game-time.
Prior to tonight’s Europa League clash against CFR Cluj, the 29-year-old had made just 12 appearances for the Hoops this season, with seven of those coming as a substitute (as per TransferMarkt).
Will Griffiths ever get back to his best?
He was omitted from the matchday squad for Sunday’s Betfred Cup final win over Rangers, a decision which took Hutton by surprise and led him to question Griffiths’ future at the club.
He told Football Insider: “I was a little bit surprised I must admit, but maybe the writing is on the wall a little bit like either Leigh Griffiths makes it back into the first-team or he has to move on.
“But I think he is a great player, he is a goalscorer, he is someone you’d love to have in your squad. If not starting, but have him come on and change the game, as he has been there and done it. So it must have been difficult for him.”
Although Griffiths has been a fantastic servant for Celtic with 107 goals in 215 appearances for the club, his struggle for game-time this season either side of a hamstring injury makes Hutton’s comments about his Parkhead future understandable.
Since returning from that injury last month, the 29-year-old has not started for the Hoops, instead being brought on in four consecutive matches before being omitted completely for the Betfred Cup final as Neil Lennon played wide midfielder Lewis Morgan at centre-forward and had Odsonne Edouard on the bench.
The manager’s preference for a 4-2-3-1 formation leaves room for just one centre-forward to start and, with Edouard scoring 13 times in 26 appearances this season, it seems likely that he will continue to get the nod ahead of Griffiths, who has three goals from 12 games so far in 2019/20.
Hutton is right to highlight the impact that the 29-year-old has made when he has featured this season, with his three goals coming in 381 minutes of game-time for an average of one every 127 minutes.
Griffiths has also shown that he can come on and score for the Hoops, having found the net against St Johnstone in August despite getting just 14 minutes off the bench (as per TransferMarkt).
There is logic to everything that Hutton has said and, if the Celtic striker continues to struggle for first-team minutes, he could decide that the time is right to seek pastures new, having spent almost six years of his career at Parkhead.
Celtic fans, what do you make of Hutton’s views about Griffiths’ situation at the club? Have your say by commenting below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience