LEIGH GRIFITHS will be just one of a dozen players who will heading for the Celtic exit during a hectic summer of transfer activity.
That’s the view of Murdo MacLeod, the Hoops’ former midfield powerhouse and assistant manager to Wim Jansen when the club halted Rangers’ 10-in-a-row bid in 1998.
Griffiths has scored only eight goals in a dismal season and was ignored and left on the substitutes’ bench during the 4-1 flop at Ibrox, as CQN reported yesterday.
It has been a tough three campaigns for the 30-year-old frontman ever since he revealed he had “personal issues” to content with. His goal return has dipped alarmingly over that period.
The Scotland international is sweating over the club’s decision to activate the remaining 12 months of his existing contract which is due to expire at the end of this month.
MacLeod, though, believes Griffiths will be a casualty in the massive rebuild.
OH NO…Leigh Griffiths shows his despair as he sees his shot deflected onto the post in the January clash at Ibrox.
He said: “I look at the number of players who won’t be there next season and it’s a worry. The captain and leader, Scott Brown, will be at Aberdeen.
“I don’t think the club will trigger their option to hand Leigh Griffiths another year after the season he’s just had.
“Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie are coming to the end of their contracts and look as though they want to move on.
“The loan signings will all go back to their parent clubs and last season’s signings — apart from David Turnbull — should be sold, as well. Most of them didn’t play too often anyway, so they’ll want to leave.
“Unfortunately, they won’t be able to sell every player who had a bad season and some of them will hang around.
“But the new manager will have three or four individuals to build his team around — Turnbull, Callum McGregor and James Forrest among them.
“He won’t inherit much more than that.”
HOORAY HENRIK…Henrik Larsson celebrates a goal against Rangers with Stephen Pearson and Alan Thompson about to join in.
MacLeod, speaking to the Scottish Sun, added: “Assuming Eddie Howe takes the job, this is going to be a huge test for him.
“In fact, I’d say it’s as big a task as any Celtic manager has ever had just attracting the kind of players he needs.
“When Wim and I took over in 1997, we could offer players the chance to make history by stopping Rangers from doing the 10.
“Plus we signed Henrik Larsson, a genuine superstar who other players wanted to play alongside.
“Paul Lambert had won the Champions League with Dortmund the previous season and his presence also persuaded others to take a chance. That isn’t the case now. Rangers have won their first title and are favourites to win a second.
“Stopping the two doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Plus Steven Gerrard already has a quality squad in place.
“He’ll probably want to add no more than two or three to strengthen them, while Celtic will need nine or ten to have a chance of coming back.”