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GRIFF ‘DRIFTING INTO OBSCURITY’

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS’ Celtic career could be heading for the buffers.

The struggling striker has scored just one goal this year and there are fears the Hoops may not take up the 12-month option on his contract that is due to expire at the end of the month, as CQN reported last week.

Former team-mate Kris Commons is concerned for the misfiring marksman who has managed only seven league starts in a wretched campaign for the individual and the club.

Griffiths, who has claimed a mere seven strikes in all competitions, has been limited to cameo appearances since Neil Lennon gave himt he hook at half-time in the loss at home to St Mirren in January.

The Scotland international, who will be 31 in August, has started just once under John Kennedy, who took over as interim manager in February. That was in the Scottish Cup-tie against League One outfit Falkirk at Parkhead just over a fortnight ago.

Griffiths was replaced by the equally-ineffective Albian Ajeti in the 61st minute after firing blanks and he cut a dejected figure as he sat in the stand following his removal.

Commons fears time could be up for the fans’ favourite who has failed to make an impact over the past three years.

The former Hoops playmaker, writing in his Daily Mail column, said: “Leigh Griffiths is 30 just now. But, rather than firing on all cylinders, it feels like his Celtic career is just being left to fizzle out.

“He has scored five goals in 18 appearances in the Premiership this season. He has scored just once since Boxing Day, the opener in a 2-0 win over Hamilton Accies at the end of January.

“By the time Celtic’s league campaign resumes against Aberdeen next Wednesday, it will be almost three months since Griffiths last found the net.

“I take no pleasure whatsoever in saying this because regular readers of this column will know just how highly I rate Griffiths and how highly I regard him on a personal level.

“But it has all gone stale for him at Celtic. It feels like he has become the forgotten man, which is a shame when you consider how much ability he has.”

Commons added: “Griffiths admitted that he was ‘a disgrace’ when he came back from the initial lockdown unfit and overweight last summer.

“Any new manager coming in at Celtic, whether it’s Eddie Howe or someone else, will look at those comments and think: ‘No, not for me’.

“Griffiths has never been able to catch up from that episode last summer. He was branded unprofessional, with Neil Lennon hammering him in the press.

“It’s important to separate his personal problems when talking about Griffiths. I’ve got nothing but respect for the way he has fought his way back after suffering from some very serious off-field issues.

“But that’s not what we’re talking about. We are talking about what ought to be the peak years of his career. At the moment, he is drifting into obscurity.

“He needs a spark and a fresh start. A parting of the ways might be the best solution for all concerned.”

CQN reported two weeks ago that there could be a reunion with his Celtic skipper Scott Brown at Aberdeen plus there will almost certainly be interst from his boyhood idols Hibs if he becomes a free agent.

The frontman spent two prolific seasons on loan at Easter Road before ex-gaffer Lennon paid Wolves £1.2million for him in January 2014.

Griffiths is running out of time to prove he still has a role to play for Celtic.

 

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