By Alan Hutton

22nd Jul, 2020 | 3:50pm

Pundit Exclusive: Beefed up, barely-seen Celtic ace has had 'Perfect' pre-season

Alan Hutton claims that Patryk Klimala has had the “perfect” pre-season at Celtic after getting his chance due to Leigh Griffiths’ absence.

The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the January signing has got into the squad via the “back door” thanks to his teammate’s indiscretions.

With Griffiths left in Glasgow due to fitness issues, the 21-year-old capitalised on his chance to score in a 1-1 draw with OGC Nice in a pre-season friendly, while he also featured against Lyon and PSG.

Having barely featured for Neil Lennon since signing for the Bhoys, Hutton insists that Klimala has taken his chance with both hands ahead of the return of the Premiership.

Asked about Klimala taking his chance in Griffiths’ absence, Hutton told Football Insider: “Exactly, perfect – this is what we’re talking about. One person’s downfall is another person’s gain and that’s basically what’s happened.

“There’s a boy that signed in January for a decent fee, didn’t really get a run of games but thought: ‘Here’s my chance’. He’s worked hard over lockdown, by all accounts he’s come back, filled out a little bit and you’ve got a striker who was on top form but hasn’t looked after himself.

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“He’s taken his opportunity, there’s definitely a place there to play alongside Edouard and he’s going for it. It’s a shame to see for Griffiths and Scotland but he’s kind of let himself down and let Klimala come in through the back door.” 

Klimala played just four times for Celtic in the second half of last season after joining from Jagiellonia Bialystok for a reported £3.4million.

The Poland under-21 international’s only competitive start for the Bhoys came in a 3-0 win over Clyde back in February.

In other Celtic news, the door has opened for the Bhoys to sign a Premier League striker.

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