LEIGH GRIFFITHS has pleaded with Celtic not to cash in on Moussa Dembele.
The 20-year-old French striker, who arrived from Fulham in the summer, has scored 16 goals in a whirlwind start to his Hoops career.
And Giffiths, last season’s 40-goal man, has been forced onto the sidelines for a few games although he started the encounters against the Highland double-act of Ross County and Inverness Caley Thistle and claimed his ninth strike of the campaign against Richie Foran’s outfit.
Dembele’s three Champions League group stages goals against Manchester City (two) and Borussia Monchengladbach have catapulted him into the spotlight with a host of big-name European sides reported to be monitoring the player who agreed a four-year deal in June.
Griffiths said: “Right now, I couldn’t tell you what he is worth. He has been invaluable to us with his goals and his performances. We don’t want to lose any of our top players.
“We are a team who want to be going places and for us to do that then we need to keep everyone here for a long time and let the manager, Brendan Rodgers, get the chance to build a really strong side.”
Griffiths also praised the contribution of Scott Sinclair since the 27-year-old flair player’s arrival from Aston Villa in August in a £4.5million deal.
The Scotland international said: “The manager brought him in here for a reason – he is direct, he can pass, he can score.
“He has everything and that is why the gaffer bid for him so many times because he really wanted to get his man.
“Scott has added so much energy into the squad.”
It is unlikely that Celtic will look to make a fast buck on Dembele as the arrival of Brendan Rodgers to manage the club has signaled a change in policy regarding selling the best playing assets at the season end.
Celtic lost Van Dijk, Forster, Wanyama, Hooper and others and had to re-build continually. This is not the agenda that Rodgers has set and players like Dembele should be wearing the hoops for a few years at the very least, according to sources.