I doubt even Leigh Griffiths’ dad thought he had this kind of form in him when he signed for Celtic in January last year. The then 23-year-old had ‘squad filler’ written all over him as he waited in line behind Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes. The arrival of John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic a year ago could have limited Leigh’s chances further, but neither showed enough form to make the striker position their own.
Prospects looked bleak last season. Two starts before Christmas, Leigh spent time with the youths and looked to be heading out of the club in January, but with the manager’s mind increasingly made up on Guidetti and Scepovic, he got his chance. The transformation has been remarkable. His goals return compares to the best in the modern era, but it’s the type of goals he scores which has caught the attention most.
He’s fast, skilful, can out-jump central defenders and scores goals in big games. Should Celtic choose to play with Carlton Cole as a target man, Leigh will also be able to play to his left.
Whatever Ronny Deila achieves this season, the improvement in Leigh Griffiths will feature high up the list. Leigh’s attitude to self-improvement is also worth noting.