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Leigh Griffiths makes frank admission about drastic decision he nearly took last summer

The Celtic striker and PFA Scottish Player of the Year reveals he came "within touching distance" of leaving on loan at the start of the season.

His 39 goals this season have been the foundation of Celtic's success, but Leigh Griffiths has admitted to the club's official website that he nearly took the decision to leave on loan at the start of the campaign.

Griffiths has been the Hoops primary standout performer throughout the campaign as Ronny Deila's side look certain to win a fifth Scottish Premiership title on the trot.

This has been comfortably the most prolific season of Griffiths' career to date, but it could all have been so different had he not been persuaded by Deila to remain at the club last summer.

The Scotland international revealed to the club's website that he thought the only way he would be playing regularly was if he left for another club on loan, before Deila convinced him to stay and fight for his place.

The 25-year-old told the club's website: "I was within touching distance of going out on loan but after a phone-call from the gaffer, who wanted me to fight for my place, I’ve managed to do that and stay in the team.

"I just wanted to work hard. I didn’t want to leave the club but I felt I needed to be playing games, I didn’t want to be on the bench or sitting in the stand, and the only way I thought I could do that was by going out on loan."

Celtic fans may have become disillusioned with Deila's management but they will be mightily relieved that he managed to convince Griffiths that he could be the star of the show at Parkhead.

The striker has scored well over a third of the Bhoys' league goals this season to take his overall tally for the club to 66 goals from 104 matches.

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