Neil Lennon assesses Teemu Pukki's Celtic spell ahead of Europa League showdown

Former Bolton manager Neil Lennon before the match

The striker struggled during his time with the Scottish Premiership side.

Celtic's Teemu Pukki looks dejectedFormer Celtic striker Teemu Pukki

Ahead of their upcoming reunion, Neil Lennon has claimed that Teemu Pukki has been unfairly deemed a Celtic flop after his largely unsuccessful spell at the club a few years ago, The Scottish Sun reports.

Lennon is preparing his Hibernian side for the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie against Brondby on Thursday. And the clash against the Danish side is likely to see Hibs come up against the Finland international, who Lennon knows very well.

Teemu Pukki - Celtic

It was the Northern Irishman who brought Pukki to Parkhead in 2013. But despite the 26-year-old scoring in his first two Scottish Premiership games, the forward struggled to adapt to life with the Bhoys, spending just one full season with the club before joining Brondby on loan and completing a permanent exit the following summer.

But while many will deem that Pukki's time at Celtic Park was something of a failure, Lennon insists that it was not as bad as people think.

"He played within himself a little bit, I thought. He didn't really show his capabilities," he told The Scottish Sun.

Celtic's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring their sixth goal

"He was never prolific but we felt he had the qualities we wanted although he would maybe say he never got the chance to show that on a consistent basis.

"It doesn't take away the fact he's a very good player.

"I think his time at Celtic was probably harshly assessed."

Celtic's Teemu Pukki (L) scores their sixth goal

In fairness to the forward, his record in the league is not dreadful by any means. He scored seven times in 26 games for the Hoops, and that total becomes more impressive when you consider that he only started 14 times for the club, though it is still some way short of being the kind of strike-rate that would make a goalscorer a success at Celtic. 

But while Lennon is adamant that Pukki deserves better than to be written off as a flop, he will be hoping that he does not prove it on Thursday. 

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