Chris Francis considers the arrivals of Gary Hooper and Leigh Griffiths in the Premier League and League One respectively…
With the sale of Celtic’s Gary Hooper to Norwich and Leigh Griffiths’ return to Wolves after another season out on loan with Hibernian, two of the most prolific and exciting attacking talents in the Scottish Premier League have fled south.
Having amassed some impressive goal tallies up North, the new season will be an intriguing opportunity for both strikers, and the SPL itself, to highlight the quality of Scottish football, as well as the potential gaps that exist with the English game.
The two forwards have wildly different roles to play this season. Hooper has moved to one of the five big European leagues for the first time in his career, while Griffiths has moved to a big club in trouble. The former Celtic striker will be charged with improving a poor goal tally for Norwich (only Stoke and QPR scored fewer last year) alongside the more urbane Ricky van Wolfswinkel, as well as replacing the directness of Grant Holt who has left for Wigan. Griffiths will be expected to fire Wolves them back up to the Championship at the first attempt after his prolific feats in the SPL last year. As players they are very different. Hooper likes to play on the shoulder of the defender, take minimal touches, and go for goal at any angle. Griffiths is more likely to get involved in the build up, but is also a good finisher. Continue reading