Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has admitted his belief that Leigh Griffiths is the best striker in Scotland when he’s fit and firing.
Griffiths looks a certainty to return to the Scotland fold for the Euro 2020 playoff matches at the end of the month. This comes after he bagged eight goals in 13 appearances since returning from the winter break (Soccerbase).
His form is highly-improved after a slow first half of the season in which he only netted three goals. At the time, Ferguson admitted that the best thing for all concerned would be for Griffiths to seal a loan move elsewhere.
However, speaking about the striker on PLZ Soccer yesterday, Ferguson was full of praise for his performances.
“You’ve got to give him great credit for coming back. There was a lot of people doubting him. We spoke about him at length in here and said he may have had to go out on loan. But fair play to him, he has obviously knuckled down, he’s worked hard in training and for me I have always said it – when a fit Leigh Griffiths is firing he is the best striker in Scotland.
“There is no doubt about it. He is the most natural goalscorer and you want him in the Scotland national team as well. I think Steve Clarke will put him straight in.
“You need to give Leigh Griffiths is tremendous credit. He’s come back from a long, hard road in terms of off-field problems but he’s knuckled down and he’s getting his reward now by scoring goals.”
Not many can say they saw this coming
As much as we all love to have a pop at Ferguson where possible, he’s pretty spot on here. You can hardly blame him for not initially seeing this run of form coming.
After all, it’s the unpredictability of Griffiths’ comeback that makes it all the more impressive. Considering the fact it came at a time when Celtic had just signed a new £3.5million striker in Patryk Klimala, Griffiths’ response has been electric (Scottish Sun).
He’s Scotland’s most in-form striker too. Outside of all of the forwards Clarke has picked since becoming the Scotland manager, not one has scored more than Griffiths in 2020. That should be all the Scotland boss needs to know ahead of his squad selection next week.
What will be interesting however is whether Griffiths plays for Scotland as a lone-striker. At Celtic, he’s thrived in a 3-5-2 with Odsonne Edouard, and it’s their combination play that’s reaping rewards for the Hoops.
Clarke has often went with one up top, and whilst Griffiths has plenty of experience playing on his own, it’s not what he’s been used to in recent weeks. Even then, however, he’s still far and away the best striker Scotland can pick.
As for Ferguson’s “best striker in Scotland” claim, we have to disagree. That has to go to Odsonne, but we’re happy to give Leigh a close second!
Will Griffiths continue his incredible comeback story with a goal at Ibrox? What’s led to this incredible turn in form? Let us know in the comments below.