With both Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele linked with a move away from Parkhead, which one among the duo is more important to the club?
The two players have been surrounded by much transfer talk as club’s prolific strikers gain attention from a number of clubs.
The transfer speculation has been a consistent one for Dembele, who has been linked with a potential move away from Celtic Park since his move to Glasgow.
Griffiths, on the other hand, has gone somewhat under the rumours despite consistently finding the net his entire career, taking things to a new level since his arrival at the Old Firm club. That has all changed now with the Scotland international finally attracting keen interest from the Premier League and further afield.
Should it all come to the club deciding on who to hold on to, who is actually more important to Brendan Rodgers?
The obvious answer would be Dembele. The Frenchman is six years younger than Griffiths, has many more years of ahead of him. However, the duo boast remarkably consistent goal-scoring records for the Hoops, with the only real difference being that Griffiths has been at it for longer.
The Scotland international, in 166 appearances for Celtic, has scored 94 goals since he joined from Wolves in 2014. He’s rapidly approaching a centurion and has scored in an impressive 57% of his outings in a green and white shirt.
His counterpart – Dembele – has scored 40 goals in 70 appearances since arriving from Fulham, meaning the Under-20 France international has the same goal percentage as Griffiths.
There is no doubt that the duo are fan favourites, however, Griffiths may slightly edge Dembele in terms of popularity within and outside of the club.
Former Celtic legend Kris Commons recently took to recording in his Scottish Daily Mail column and claimed that:
“Dembele was disrespecting his teammates,” with the striker’s actions during Celtic clash with Rangers last December which raised fear within fans that he has said farewell after emotional-looking substitution against the Gers.
Commons was talking about the player’s choice to walk directly down the tunnel after being substituted rather join his teammates on the bench and see out the game.
“From a player’s point of view I wouldn’t like it,”
He added. “If you are injured, yes, you go and get an ice pack on. But it made me think. Is he that bothered? Is the intent there? Is he that bothered about the result?”
As a result of this actions, the ex-Hoops legend believes Dembele had shown intent on a move away from the club.
Football Weeks sources understands Brighton & Hove Albion have emerged as the latest club vying for his services. A fee of £20million is reportedly on cards for Dembele, however, Rodgers has since assured fans that no official bid has been made for the younger French striker.
Griffiths, however, has also been linked with a move away with Premier League rock bottom Swansea City with reports that the Swans are lining up a £7million fee.
As it stands, despite tempting increased in wages, I don’t see neither Griffiths nor Dembele leaving Celtic or have a thought about it. After all, why throw away the opportunity of wining back-to-back trebles with the Scottish giants and join a relegation bound club in the world’s toughest league?
However, should the duo transfers be down to Rodgers, over which player to let go, the obvious choice would be to sell Dembele.
The rumours surrounding Dembele are not going to go away until the very mintute his elvis has left the building at Park Head.
From hindsight, I reckon the smart decision would be to cut ties with Dembele and take the reported £20million fee to reinvest, keeping Griffiths at the club who we all know will perform. After all Moussa Dembele only cost the club, via BBC just £500,000 in the first place.