The general reaction to reports that a £1m bid has been received for Leigh Griffiths is that the figure undervalues the player. Early in the season the story was different. Leigh, who joined in January last year, was behind new arrivals John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic. His perceived value was close to zero, alongside most players sitting on the bench or in the stand.
We were panicked on 31 August last year. Having signed Amido Balde and Teemu Pucki a year earlier we were desperately short of a striker, the arrival of Scepovic, then Guidetti was cause for celebration. Neither brought much to the club, we would have been better, with more money available for the next window, if we’d prioritised Leigh and given chances to a youth player.
If Celtic choose to sell Leigh this summer, it will not be for £1m. He’s worth much more than that, probably more than Leeds United can afford. He’s under contract, first choice and scoring goals. But Celtic will also put a great deal of effort into recruiting a striker in the coming weeks.
There are no guarantees Leigh will get an extended run in the team next season. Celtic should sell players at peak value, when they have reached the point they are no longer developing, before they become an overhang on resources. Leigh is probably at peak value, and unlikely to further develop, but he’s no overhang. That scenario won’t happen until a couple of new pretenders have proven they are better fits than Balde, Pukki, Scepovic and Guidetti.
Keep an eye on Frank McGarvey’s 1985 Scottish Cup Final shirt, which is being auctioned to benefit Maryhill Food Bank. It closes just before 8pm tonight.