By Noel Whelan

18th Jan, 2020 | 12:55pm

Exclusive: Pundit touts 'Proven' Celtic star for Parkhead exit after official update

Noel Whelan has touted Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths for an exit from Parkhead after the arrival of fellow forward Patryk Klimala.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and Aberdeen hitman says that a loan or permanent exit could be on the cards for the Scottish international following the Hoops’ first January signing.

Celtic confirmed the capture of Klimala from Jagiellonia Bialystok last week, the striker having netted seven goals in 17 appearances during the first half of the season.

With Odsonne Edouard as Neil Lennon’s first choice up front, Whelan says the added competition could lead to Griffiths leaving Celtic in the hunt for first-team football.

“It’s great that he’s got back into football after his troubles, it’s always nice to see, he’s had a bit of a turbulent time in his life but Celtic obviously feel they need more firepower,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“He’s been sitting on the bench, he’s had bit-parts here and there. Maybe they realise or feel like they need a different direction they need to go to.

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“Will he then go? There will injuries and suspensions along the way, he’s a proven goalscorer at that level, so it’s one to maybe think about – does he go out on loan or does he go to another club?

“I’m sure he doesn’t want to leave, I’m sure he understands that he has to play catch up since his problems so he’ll want to fight for his place.”

Griffiths has 18 appearances under his belt for the Hoops this season but only five of those outings have come among the starting XI.

He was missing between September and November with a hamstring injury but has featured in the last eight Premiership games for Neil Lennon, all as a substitute.

In other Celtic news, Alan Hutton has issued a warning to a Parkhead player as an “amazing” exit deal is all but done.