Leigh Griffiths would be huge asset for Scotland, says Celtic’s Callum McGregor
After reporting back for pre-season training out of shape according to former Hoops boss Neil Lennon, the 30-year-old Griffiths has had a fitful and frustrating campaign and was left out of Steve Clarke’s squad for the March World Cup qualifiers against Austria, Israel and the Faroe Islands.
However, Griffiths climbed off the bench in the 61st minute against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday night and reminded Clarke what he could do, with a stoppage time header giving the visitors a 1-1 Premiership draw.
McGregor insists Griffiths, who helped Scotland qualify for the Euros by scoring in the play-off penalty shoot-out win against Serbia in Belgrade last November, “absolutely has the quality” to make an impact in dark blue again at this summer’s European Championships, the first major finals the Scots have qualified for since the 1998 World Cup in France.
The Scotland midfielder said: “It is undoubted. He is the best finisher I have seen.
“Just as a natural finisher he is right up there. He is the best I have played with.
“He gets chances, he is clinical and just puts them away. That is the difference with the top strikers who have that real killer instinct.
“I think he has got that. He gets one chance and it is a goal.
“For him, it is to keep working hard, doing the right things every day and trying to get as much game time as possible.
“After that you just never know, especially with someone of his quality. If we can get him in the squad and firing then he would be a huge asset.”
Griffiths scored two memorable free-kicks in the 2-2 draw against England in a World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park in June 2017.
McGregor believes the ability to produce in the big games could be a factor for Clarke, whose side will play the Czech Republic and Croatia at the national stadium and England at Wembley in between.
He said: “I think he will have a lot of things to think about as the manager, what type he takes, and he will be covering all bases.
“Big experience in games has to count for something as well.
“I am not going to sit here and tell him who to pick. It is the manager’s choice but a fit and firing Leigh is a real asset to the squad.
“We just need to wait and see what happens.”