The return of Leigh Griffiths to the Celtic squad is “brilliant news” for Neil Lennon, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider editor Wayne Veysey, the ex-Aberdeen and Leeds United striker claimed Griffiths can be “like a new signing” for the Hoops ahead of the winter break.

Speaking at his press conference prior to today’s clash against Livingston, Lennon confirmed that Griffiths would be back in the Hoops squad for the first time since early September.

Whelan is in no doubt about Griffiths’ calibre and the goal potential he brings to Lennon’s side when fit and firing.

“Leigh Griffiths is a born goalscorer and his return is brilliant news for Celtic”, Whelan told Football Insider: “When he plays, he scores, simple as that.

“Obviously, he’s hardly played in the last year, due to injuries and off-the-field issues. It will take him quite a while to get fully match sharp.

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“If he can rediscover that yard of zip in and around the box, Celtic have got a massive asset on their hands. With his runs, timing and movement around the box, he will get in scoring positions.

“We all know about his finishing, which is superb. His return is like a new signing for Celtic.”

Griffiths scored three goals in eight matches earlier in the season before being struck by a severe hamstring injury.

His overall record for Celtic is outstanding, with 211 games for the club yielding 107 goals and 46 assists.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can reveal latest on club’s transfer pursuit after a shock twist.