Should Celtic Target Leigh Griffiths?

Celtic Park

Over the past few days Neil Lennon has made it quiet clear that he is very interested in signing Leigh Griffiths. They’ve already made a formal offer for the Wolves striker which was promptly rejected.

The potential signing hasn’t gone down well with some of the Celtic faithful and they made that quite clear on social networking sites. So much so that Celtic boss Lennon had to comment again on the situation, comparing the Scots striker with former Celt Scott MacDonald.

Now as players you can see Lennon’s point. Both players have shown they are handy in front of goal. But you can’t simply judge a player on what he contributes on the field these days.

For me, the potential signing would be a very risky one. The players temperament has always been called into question.

He has been suspended twice for making obscene gestures in the direction of supporters. Leigh has also been in the papers after allegedly falling out with then Hibs boss Pat Fenlon. Then we had his racist tweeting episode, which infuriated his employers. The 23 year old has also had a few run ins with the police over the years.

Obviously Celtic and their manager have to weigh up the pros and cons in making any signing.

Can he score goals?

Yes he can. During his two loan spells at Hibs, Leigh managed a whopping 39 goals in 78 appearances. This season for League One side Wolverhampton Wolves he has grabbed 13 strikes in 30 matches.

But if Celtic really wanted a goalscoring striker for the Scottish Premiership then they could just sign Kris Boyd (obviously they won’t) or Billy McKay at Inverness.

But Celtic have to look beyond the domestic competition and into Europe.

Can Griffiths make a difference in the Champions League?

I just can’t see it. He wasn’t deemed good enough during Wolves’ stays in the EPL or in the Championship. His performances up top by himself for Scotland against Croatia and Belgium weren’t inspiring. Against the Belgians he was actually pretty poor. He just couldn’t get involved and was often chasing shadows.

Now don’t get me wrong, playing up front by yourself for Scotland is a hard and difficult shift. But Steven Naismith, Kenny Miller and Steven Fletcher have shown it can be done.

Is Griffiths really needed at Parkhead?

Out of the group they have it seems odd that they would add another untested striker.

In Anthony Stokes they have a domestic goal getter. Giorgios Samaras looks set to be leaving the Glasgow club in the near future. Lennon has already said Mo Bangura doesn’t have a future at the club. I haven’t seen enough of Amibo Balde to properly judge but it does seem as if he isn’t highly thought of by the coaching team. Youngster Holmbert Friojonsson has only just arrived.

For me, given time Teemu Pukku will actually be a worthwhile buy. Against Hibs last weekend he had the bit between his teeth and looked very clever with his runs and his possession. Too often in this country we write off players after just months of being here. I’d prefer it if we could give players a season before judging them.

Now interestingly enough Lennon has sent out Tony Watt on loan this term. He believes the young forward has problems with discipline and attitude. So why bring in Griffiths who has similar problems?

I’d think that a more experienced striker would generate more welcoming noises from the supporters.

Is Leigh any better than former Bhoy’s Shaun Maloney or Scott MacDonald? I don’t think so. I would be more inclined to suggest he is more Riordan than MacDonald!

I just think this signing would be an uninspired purchase. He won’t cost much, ideal for Peter Lawell and the board but not a signing that will excite the fans or have much of an impact in Europe.

I hope I am wrong as it would be great for Gordon Strachan and the Scottish national team to have another player playing well in Europe but we shall just have to wait and see.

9 Responses to “Should Celtic Target Leigh Griffiths?”

  1. An article both negative, pessimistic, as well as totally unjustified. Griffiths has the potential to fill McDonald’s and Hooper’s boots, neither of whom had a pedigree any better at the time we bought them. And both went on to become firm favourites of the fans.

    He’s around about the same age as both when we signed them, neither had played at a higher level, nor had they played in Europe either. So both were a risk and were no different a signing to what Griffiths would potentially be.

    The fact is that we can’t afford the £10m or so it would take to bring “a name” in, so we have to go to war with a so called lesser profile player.

    Let’s bring him in and give him a chance. We couldn’t do worse than what we have signed since Hooper left.

  2. Good job Jinky Johnston (RIP) wasn’t judged the same way Griffiths is..or Jinky wouldn’t have been in the team….griffiths will be fine…let Lenny get on with the job, and we can get on with supporting the team that’s ON THE FIELD OF PLAY

  3. Griffiths is not a Celtic player and not the type that Celtic need at this point. Why let a youngster like Atajic go out on loan and sign a very similar player? In fact Atajic is a better player in my mind, I am flabbergasted that he went on loan. Watt is another who deserved a bit more time in the first team. Unfortunately Celtic have recent history of not persevering with or giving enough developing players a chance. This situation started with WGS and is a result of pressure to get results. Surely at this stage of an already foregone season it would be the ideal time to develop a team rather than buy one.

  4. The blog is all about opinion. Firstly my own opinion, then that of the reader. It isn’t always going to be the same.

    Hooper had more pedigree in the Championship. Griffiths was deemed surplus to requirements in that league.

    I might be totally wrong about the signing should he join Celtic. But that doesn’t stop me from having that opinion now. I am not here as a cheerleader for any team or manager. I just call it as I see it at the time.

    Every transfer represents a risk… There are young players there that should be given a chance.

    Listen I know you wont spend £7m-£10m on a player but surely there is a middle ground.

    All my thoughts on Griffiths are based on seeing him as a player and the antics that he got himself involved in.

    All three of the comments so far contradict each other in some way. Just shows it is a matter that divides opinion & worth talking about.

  5. Well lets see whose judgement do I trust a blogger or Neil Lennon. I think Lenny wins. The blog describes Anthony Stokes as a domestic goal getter well he must have a good memory. Tony hasn’t been scoring many goals for a couple of seasons now and seems to want to keep dropping back into midfield. The other mentioned have yet to prove that they can score regularly.
    Griffiths has scored regularly everywhere he has played there is no reason to suppose he wont do the same for us.
    His personal life is his own affair but if he attracts some unwanted headlines what the heck. Football is part of the entertainment industry and we need some headline makers to keep people talking about the game.

  6. I think 38 goals in 98 league games isn’t a bad record. Personally I am not a huge fan of Stokes but he gets a fair amount of goals when fully fit. Lennon (whose judgement you trust) just gave him a new 3 year deal.

    No manager gets every transfer right.

    Of course you would trust Lennon over me, not sure what that has to do with my opinion.

  7. I totally fail to see how youngsters ought to be given the nod ahead of seasoned pros? That’s why sniping at Griffiths for his lack of appearances with Wolves is so short sighted.

    He was barely 20 himself when he went there and was presumably bought for the future, given the fact that he had done extremely well as a teenager for Dundee. Mick McCarthy was the Wolves manager who signed him, so he clearly ‘fancied him’, but was eventually sacked. Wolves then went through another couple of managers, culminating in their present one, Kenny Jackett who only went there a year ago.

    Yes, he didn’t appear for Wolves in his first couple of seasons and was then of course farmed out to Hibs(Take note Watt, Atajic etc) to gain further experience.

    Kenny Jackett clearly doesn’t rate him too highly, although since going back there for this season, Griffiths has a very creditable strike rate of 13 goals in 30 games, quite a few coming on as sub. Therefore, he has proved himself in the Championship.

    Griffiths is now at an age where he’s still young enough to have at least 10 years ahead of him in the game, but he also has plenty of match experience that he can now be considered a seasoned pro.

    Lenny has signed a few tumshies in his time, but I don’t believe Griffiths to be in that category and if we got him for no more than £1m, I could see us cashing in on him – as is our way – when the time came for him to move on.

  8. Thanks for the comment. Its opposite from my opinion but I can see where you are coming from.

    That said Wolves are in Lge 1 not the Championship. Plus he was assessed plenty of times at Wolves and deemed ‘not ready’ for the squad by a few managers.

    Plus his Scotland Belgium performance was just last year.

  9. Youngsters are the name of the game. Nothing better than seeing a young talent brought to the fore. Up till recently Celtic have had a good history of this. Okay the following are superstars but it proves a point:- Collins 17, Hughes 18, Johnstone 18, Murdoch 17, Dalglish 18, to name only a few. All went on to become household names and internationally recognized, and these are just from Celtic. I was lucky enough to have seen most of these make their debut, apart from Bobby Collins. Today we still see this practice with talented young players, but not at Celtic unfortunately. All I am saying is why buy in? when a similar player has been developed ie Atajic. Or in the case of Johanssen, why not Rogic?. Anyone can buy a team!

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