Former Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson believes that Celtic should consider loaning out striker Leigh Griffiths for the remainder of the season after they added to their squad today.
The Hoops have completed the signing of Polish striker Patryk Klimala from Jagiellonia Bialystok, with confirmation of the deal posted on celticfc.net this afternoon. That could impact on the scant game-time that Griffiths has had this season, with the 29-year-old making just one league start in 2019/20 while first choice centre-forward Odsonne Edouard has struck 16 goals in the current campaign.
Speaking on PLZ Soccer [via The Scottish Sun], Ferguson duly thinks that Griffiths could benefit from a loan move elsewhere, saying: “He needs to go and play. It’s as simple as that. I don’t think he’s going to do that at Celtic. If Edouard’s fit and available, he’s going to be number one and obviously they’ve signed this boy coming in for a lot of money as well.
“So for me I think the best solution for Celtic would be to loan him out for the last three/four months of the season. Go and let him get a certain amount of games and see if he can start banging goals in and then bring him back and make a decision over the summer.”
Ferguson’s reasoning for advocating a loan move away from Celtic for Griffiths appears sound, given the forward’s struggles for game-time under Neil Lennon this season. While he took time out of football for personal reasons last year, the 29-year-old returned to action in July, yet has still found it hard to get on the pitch for the Hoops this term.
His only Premiership start came back in August against Motherwell, while of the 10 substitute appearances he has made in the league in 2019/20, the longest has been for 22 minutes. In three of Celtic’s last four league games, he had fewer than 10 minutes off the bench, even when they were 1-2 down at home to Rangers in the derby and therefore chasing an equaliser. [via TransferMarkt]
With Lennon usually starting with just one centre-forward and Klimala now at the club, Griffiths could find game-time at Celtic even harder to come by, although his impressive record for the club suggests that they shouldn’t completely jettison him. The Scotland international has scored 107 goals for the Hoops in 221 appearances, a return of 0.48 goals per game. He has played a total of 12,800 minutes for the club, giving him an average of one goal every 119.63 minutes.
Therefore, as Ferguson has suggested, a loan move may be the best option for Griffiths now so that he can resume playing regularly and rediscover the scoring touch that he has displayed so often for Celtic and may do so again further down the line if he gets the chance to reinvigorate himself elsewhere.
Celtic fans, do you agree with Ferguson’s recommendation of Griffiths going out on loan? Comment below with your views!
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