Leigh Griffiths has revealed he didn’t have just two options to kickstart his career this summer.
More than one club down south showed interest while Hibs had a late bid accepted by parent club Celtic on the eve of the transfer deadline, as revealed by the Courier.
However, he says the personal touch from his old team-mate and friend James McPake made the decision an easy one – he was returning to Dundee.
Griffiths admits he’s a player that comes with “baggage” due to a series of off-field issues in his personal life that may put certain managers off signing him.
Evidently that’s not the case with McPake and Griffiths is keen to repay that faith by scoring goals again for the Dark Blues.
“People say I come with a lot of baggage and they are probably right,” Griffiths admitted.
“I don’t want that to be the sole focus, I want people, especially James and the club here to look at what I do on the training pitch and in games.
“I think my career should be judged on that.
“Yes, I don’t help myself at times but I try to look at the positives and make sure that when it comes to game day and training day, I am fully focused and ready to go.”
Frustrating 18 months
Game time in recent years has been limited for a variety of reasons, whether to do with fitness or personal issues.
Last season he did make 26 appearances for Celtic, though many were from the bench with his last Premiership start coming in January.
“It’s been frustrating,” he said.
“But part of that is down to me as well.
“Managers have to pick the best side based on who can go and win the games.
“When I didn’t start games and came on, I tried to make an impact.
“Towards the end of the season, I was coming on and playing well.
“But a bad 45 minutes against St Mirren killed me.
‘But, listen, it’s all about getting that run of games. If I do that and start scoring goals, the confidence will build right away.
“This is the place to do that.
“After speaking to the manager on the phone, he showed me a lot of love – but also explained how he wanted to play, how he wanted to kick-start my career again and get me back smiling.
“It’s been a frustrating 18 months so I can’t wait to get going.”
He added: “I came here because of the love that I felt from the manager.
“I have known him my whole career and he was desperate for me to come here, show that I’ve still got it to play at the top level.
“It’s just about showing that I’ve still got the hunger and desire to do well.
“Over the last four or five days, there were clubs sniffing about. It was just about me making a decision based on what was best for my career.
“There was this club, a couple of others down in England as well.
“But, after I spoke to the manager on the phone, it was just a matter of getting up and getting signed.”
Former club Hibs were also a late option with Celtic accepting their bid and it looked like the Easter Road club might gazump Dundee at the last minute.
Griffiths, though, had already made his decision.
He added: “I heard about Hibs late but I never had a phone call from anybody there.
“For me, if you want someone at the club, the manager picks up the phone.
“You want to be loved and even have a five-minute chat to say, ‘We want you here, we want you playing well to get you back in the fold’.
“James made that perfectly clear to me – so that was it, my mind was made up.”