Celtic duo Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths could continue to struggle for gametime with the Hoops this season, according to Alan Hutton.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Scotland defender name-checked the two players as those who could find it hard to nudge their way into Neil Lennon’s first choice line-up at Parkhead.
Hutton feels that the strong competition for places in Celtic’s midfield and attack will make it difficult for the likes of Rogic and Griffiths to displace those who are currently playing regularly for the Scottish champions.
Hutton told Football Insider: “Since being knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers, they’ve went from strength to strength, they’ve really been a driving force.
“It’s going to be difficult for any player on the outside looking in, you’re probably saying to yourself: ‘Where can I get in?’ It’s going to be difficult, you’ve got boys like Rogic and Leigh Griffiths, these kind of guys, that it’s going to be difficult for. He’s one of many that’s going to find it tough.”
From looking at the respective involvements of the two players so far this season, Hutton is justified in believing that they have a battle on their hands to claim regular places in Lennon’s first choice XI.
Griffiths, who took time out from the game last season to deal with personal issues (as per BBC), has made just eight appearances in Celtic’s 20 matches so far this term, coming on as a substitute in four of those.
His most recent appearance came in the win against Hearts in late August, while he has not been in a matchday squad since the 1-0 win at Hamilton nearly a month ago. [via TransferMarkt]
The 29-year-old has been kept out with a thigh strain and a virus recently, as Lennon told the Daily Record, which also reported that Griffiths felt compelled to take to social media to quell rumours of an exit from the club.
At least the Scotland striker has scored three goals this season – that’s the same number of appearances that Rogic has managed in 2019/20, with the Australia midfielder only returning to action in the latter half of September after several months out with a knee injury.
The 26-year-old came off the bench in two Premiership games before making his first start of the campaign in the 5-0 Betfred Cup win over Partick Thistle, in which he scored one goal and set up another. [via TransferMarkt]
However, he hasn’t featured in Celtic’s three subsequent matches and didn’t even make the matchday squad for the weekend’s trip to Livingston. [via TransferMarkt]
With the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and James Forrest scoring an abundance of goals this season, Hutton understandably feels that players like Griffiths and Rogic who aren’t playing regularly could face an uphill battle in persuading Lennon to include them in the starting line-up more frequently.
Will Celtic get to 10 in a row?
Celtic fans, do you think Griffiths and Rogic deserve more gametime when they are fit to feature? Have your say by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!