By Alan Hutton

1st Oct, 2020 | 4:30pm

Pundit Exclusive: Celtic player last seen in March may have big role after major reveal

Alan Hutton insists that Leigh Griffiths has a big opportunity to re-establish himself in the Celtic side after Albian Ajeti was ruled out through injury.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland full-back admits he would love to see his fellow countryman return to his best form after a difficult summer.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Lennon confirmed that the 30-year-old is part of the squad to play Sarajevo in their Europa League qualifier and that he is ready to play if need be.

The Scotland international has not played a competitive game for the Bhoys since he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over St Mirren in March, although he was on the bench for Sunday’s win against Hibernian.

He was blasted by Lennon for returning to training out of shape following the UK-wide lockdown before he picked up an injury in pre-season.

Now back to fitness, Hutton believes Griffiths has a fantastic chance to stake his claim thanks to Ajeti’s absence and move up the Parkhead pecking order.

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Hutton told Football Insider: “I think now you see an opportunity for Leigh Griffiths, obviously Lennon’s fancied Klimala coming off the bench and stuff, there’s an opportunity there.

“I’d like to see Leigh get back to top form and scoring goals again because obviously I rate him highly and we’ve spoken about it before. It’s up to them now to step up to the plate and put their name forward.

“That’s what you need, you need your squad at times like this to step forward and make up the numbers.” 

Griffiths scored 11 times in 31 appearances for Celtic last season, although a hamstring problem kept him sidelined between September and November.

Speaking to the Scotsman about the striker, Lennon said: “He’s really handy to have around so he could get game time if we need him. He’s been training the past few weeks and has looked more up to speed.”

In other Celtic news, the Hoops have tabled a formal £3million bid for left-sided star.