JOHN HUGHES has delivered his honest assessment of Celtic’s decision to hand Leigh Griffiths a new contract.
The striker’s deal came to an end this summer but last week the two parties came to an agreement over a one-year deal.
It surprised many Celtic supporters who thought Leigh’s time as the club was at an end.
Many believe the circumstances surrounding Celtic at the moment has meant the striker has got a deal.
Former Ross County boss did question the wisdom of the decision to keep the centre forward at Celtic Park.
“It surprised me a little bit.” Hughes told BBC Radio as quoted by RecordSport.
“There is no doubt that he is a natural goal scorer, but I’ve said on this programme loads of times, that the year he scored 40 goals you think it’s going to be there every year. That’s never the case, and he’s never reached those heights again.
“With all the problems that Leigh has had over the years, with mostly the indiscipline problems and the fitness levels and all that; that for me would have been a red flag.
“I’m not doubting his ability as a goalscorer, and I can understand why (he has been re-signed) because he is a goalscorer, but I just feel that you are looking to keeping moving it forward.
“Saying that, does that mean that another striker could be going? Edouard could be on the cards for going and they need Griff.
“There is no doubt if you give him game time he will score goals, but will he take you where you really want to go?
“Where they really want to go is they have to do Rangers, and they have to get better in Europe, and I don’t think he is up to that.”
Hughes is not one of those pundits who craves attention – this will be his honest take on Leigh’s status.
It’s hard to disagree with what he’s said.
Leigh has not done it in a long time for Celtic and he’s not getting any younger.
We need to make sure the club is moving forward, can the striker play a part in next season? Yes, however, if he becomes our number one striker for the season, the scouting department has not done its job properly.