Blogs & Opinion


Andy Walker says Hibernian must capture Leigh Griffiths on permanent contract

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 5th November 2012 view comments

As Hibernian prepare to host Dundee United live on Sky Sports on Sunday, I think it's fair to say no-one really knew how the Edinburgh side would react when they suffered the embarrassment of losing 5-1 in last season's Scottish Cup final to bitter rivals Hearts.

It will undoubtedly take a long time for the fans to get over that one but after 12 games this season, Hibs sit proudly at the top of the SPL alongside Celtic.

It's a credit to manager Pat Fenlon that he has been able to instil a winning mentality into his group of players following that painful defeat.

Griffiths: the on-loan Wolves man is thriving in Edinburgh

Griffiths: the on-loan Wolves man is thriving in Edinburgh

Having good players helps, of course, and in Leigh Griffiths, Hibs possess a front man who consistently makes all the difference. He is in the form of his life and may well earn a call-up to the full Scotland side.

Saturday's double against St Mirren took his total for the season to 11 and without him the simple truth is that Hibs would be ordinary.

Madness

Griffiths is on loan at Easter Road until January from Wolves, but Wanderers boss Stale Solbakken has already indicated that the 22-year-old won't be part of his plans and he's happy for him to pursue his career away from Molineux.

The simple truth is that Hibs would be ordinary without Griffiths and it would be madness if they didn't secure his services on a permanent basis.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Hibs are renowned for running a tight ship but it would be madness if they didn't secure his services on a permanent transfer.

Griffiths was known for his temperamental outbursts but it looks as though he has tried hard to put that juvenile streak behind him and is maturing into a constant threat.

The big concern I can see for Hibs fans is that if they keep putting his potential signing off - and he keeps scoring at his current rate - he may well attract the attention of clubs prepared to take a chance on a goalscorer in a rich vein of form.

My guess is that rather than get involved in a bidding war with other clubs for his services, they do a deal quickly to give both the player and the fans a boost. It would also help Pat Fenlon plan a better future for the club.

Developing

To be fair to Hibs, they are entitled to highlight how well they are run off the park. When Tony Mowbray and John Collins were managing the team, they had the luxury of developing a talented group of exciting young players.

Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson, Steven Whittaker and Steven Fletcher all came through the youth set-up together and were sold for millions by the club. That money has been used to improve the ground and build a training centre to nurture the talent of the future.

But after a truly awful season last time round when relegation was a real possibility in April, the supporters needed a lift and like fans of every club, they love to idolise a goal-scorer.

Sunday's game should provide the opportunity to see a number of talented Scots in action and Johnny Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven are capable of scoring goals for a Dundee United side who produced a remarkable comeback last weekend.

Trailing SPL champions Celtic by two goals with a minute to go, United showed great fighting spirit to get a goal back then secure a point with an equaliser in injury time.

With Griffiths on one side scoring for fun and the Terrors' exciting young talent on the other, it's a fixture that promises goals.

Don't miss Hibernian v Dundee United, 12.30pm, Sunday, Sky Sports 4 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Liverpool sign Divock Origi, Ross Barkley pens new Everton deal and Hull City land Andrew Robertson and Harry Maguire.

Barkley signs new Everton deal

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year deal with the club.

Liverpool sign Origi

Liverpool have signed Belgium striker Divock Origi from Lille for a fee of £10million.

Allegri: Vidal happy to stay

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is convinced Arturo Vidal will remain with the club for the forthcoming season.

Saints chairman: Duo staying

Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin will not be sold, according to Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger.

Features

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

The top value signings of the summer might not necessarily involve the best players. Clearly, James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez are a cut above anyone recently recruited by Real Sociedad.

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

There’s nothing quite like spotting a young talent set to flourish and Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers will be especially desperate to discover the next young star set to shine.

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.