With Neil Lennon out of the picture at Parkhead, Celtic have been putting the feelers out for their new permanent manager. Assistant head coach John Kennedy will stand in as interim manager for the time being, but big names are being linked to the Scottish giants.
Heavyweights like Roberto Martinez and Rafael Benitez have been discussed, along with the still fairly new Frank Lampard and Thierry Henry. However, one man who makes a lot of sense is current Scotland manager Steve Clarke.
Bookmakers are all over this situation right now and many have tipped the 57-year-old as the shock favourite to take the job at Celtic, according to the Glasgow Times. Should these rumours come to fruition, his appointment could hugely benefit one man in particular and that’s Scotland international Leigh Griffiths.
The 30-year-old Celtic veteran slipped heavily down the pecking order this season under Lennon. Things started to turn bleak for Griffiths when the former boss slammed him for returning to camp out of fitness and “overweight”. He has made just 16 appearances out of a potential 30 this campaign and was part of the starting lineup on only seven occasions, as per Transfermarkt.
Lennon opted to start the likes of Albian Ajeti, Mohamed Elyounoussi and even Ryan Christie alongside Odsonne Edouard over the Scottish striker. His lack of game time will have undoubtedly knocked his confidence, but Clarke could help resurrect this if he joins the Glaswegians.
The Scotland manager named Griffiths as part of his international team which secured an emphatic and historical qualification into the European Championships, so Clarke clearly sees something in the Edinburgh-born striker that. perhaps, Lennon did not.
If he takes the move to Celtic Park, he could work closely with Griffiths and potentially guarantee him more time on the pitch both domestically and internationally.
This would not only benefit Griffiths but equally the club. He recently spoke out about wanting to make it into the top 20 highest scorers for the Bhoys, which shows his passion and determination.
Equally, if Edouard leaves, Celtic will need a tried, tested and reliable man to operate at the forefront of the attack. Griffiths may well be the man for the job still, under the right manager.