Alan Hutton has slated Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths for struggling with fitness issues during pre-season preparations.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland defender insists it is a “real shame” that the 29-year-old has been snubbed by manager Neil Lennon for the club’s warm-up tour to France.

In a statement issued by the club and relayed by the BBC, Celtic confirmed that Griffiths would remain in Scotland to undertake “his own fitness programme” while the rest of the squad jet out of Glasgow.

The Daily Record report that the striker returned to training overweight and out of condition and was not part of the squad who trained at Loughborough University before their trip to the continent.

Hutton has lauded Griffiths for the way he came back from his off-field problems last year and insists it is a huge shame he is struggling with his fitness.

Hutton told Football Insider: “Neil Lennon doesn’t sound happy and it’s a shame, I think, with everything that Leigh Griffiths has been through.

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“To work really hard to get back over the Christmas period, back to his best, scoring goals, linking up with Edouard, looking like a real dangerous pair up front – to let it slip over that past few months, possibly overweight or not been doing the stuff he should have been, is a real shame.

“He scores goals, he’s been a real asset for Celtic and going into such a big season, to let yourself go like this it’s a bit disappointing to see and that’s why the manager’s chose to leave him at home.

“He must be a bit out of shape if that’s the case.” 

Griffiths played 31 times and scored 11 goals for Celtic last season, with just 14 of his appearances coming in the starting XI.

The Hoops kick off their Premiership campaign on August 2 with a clash against Hamilton.

In other Celtic news, Brown raves as the Hoops are in reported advanced talks to sign Premier League winner.

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