LEIGH GRIFFITHS has dropped to third in the striking pecking order at Celtic.
The Scotland international frontman is now behind Vakoun Issouf Bayo as the stand-by to Odsonne Edouard in Neil Lennon’s firing squad.
Chris Sutton, speaking to the Scottish Sun, gave his forthright view only two days after his old team claimed their FIFTY-FIRST goal of the season when Scott Sinclair walloped the fifth behind Partick Thistle keeper Scott Fox in the 5-0 Betfred League Cup quarter-final triumph at Parkhead.
The Hoops great, Martin O’Neill’s first purchase for the club in the summer of 2000 at £6million from Chelsea, said: “I think Bayo’s a development player and a work in progress.
STRIKE TWO…Vakoun Issouf Bayo demonstrates his shooting power.
“He has some really good raw attributes. I think he’s powerful and is good in the air.
“I was pleased to see him get game time against Partick Thistle, because there’s no doubt Celtic have a problem if Edouard gets injured and Neil Lennon needs to rely on another striker.
“Who’s second in the pecking order? It’s Bayo now. He’s overtaken Leigh Griffiths, although I know he’s got injury issues.
“But Griffiths has got serious work to do to get his place back in this Celtic side.
“He’s had a tremendous career at Celtic, but when you are out for the length of time he’s been then it’s so much more difficult to get back to a level.
“It’s not that Griffiths has ever been blessed with the greatest pace. But he had that sharpness about him, that ability to gain half a yard and get the shot off.
STRIKE THREE…Leigh Griffiths has work to do.
“The question mark over Griffiths will always be: ‘Will he ever regain that?’ Of course, I hope he does.
“For now, though, it’s about opportunities for Bayo and he’s got to take them, just as he did against Thistle.
“I know he’s had a few injury worries since he joined Celtic. But you can definitely see his potential.”
Bayo was given a rare start against the Maryhill side in midweek and scored his first goal for the club since arriving in a £2million deal from Slovakian club Dunajska Streda in January.
The Ivorian powerhouse admitted shortly after joining the champions his main prowess was his ability in the air and to underline that he claimed his first for the club with a header beyond Scott Fox.
In his previous start against Hearts, it looked as though the all-action hitman had claimed a double strike, but SPFL bosses later awarded the efforts as own goals from Christophe Berra and Craig Halkett.
Sutton added: “There will be times when supporters get frustrated with Bayo.
“But Lenny needs to rely on a No2 striker and he does seem to be the one who is holding that position now.”