Celtic vice-captain Callum McGregor has backed Leigh Griffiths, claiming the players help him out.
Surely the next Celtic captain in waiting, McGregor has been an excellent servant to the club. A huge part of 9IAR, the box-to-box Scot has shown incredible consistency since joining the Celtic first-team from the Academy.
Now, he’s looking to assert himself in the eyes of supporters, and his latest comments on Leigh Griffiths show a willingness to take charge. The midfielder has stated it’s the responsibility of the team to showcase the Scotland striker’s talents, and ensure a place for him in Steve Clarke’s Euro 2020 squad.
In quotes from the Herald, McGregor said:
“It is well-documented his problems and us as teammates, we try to help him as much as we can.
“I feel that is our duty to keep him on the right track, training well and looking after himself because we all get the benefit of that and so does he.
“That’s the type of striker you want around you in a squad when you are going for trophies, with that killer instinct.
“He still has a lot of time in the game and he has that undoubted quality, it is about everyone keeping him pushing, healthy and happy and scoring goals because that is what he is best at. That is what everybody needs to do.
“He absolutely has the quality [to make the Euros squad], it is undoubted. He is the best finisher I have seen. [Griff] gets one chance and it is a goal.”
The younger Callum McGregor sounds almost fatherly in his praise for Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths
McGregor continued [Herald]:
“For him, [the priority] 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.
“That is the difference with the top strikers who have that real killer instinct. I think he has got that.”
For sure, Griffiths can be absolutely clinical. You don’t net over 120 goals for the Bhoys without a considerable measure of talent. But with the striker seemingly set to depart in the summer, it’s encouraging to hear him receive some backing from key players.
His late equaliser against Aberdeen spared the blushes of his manager, John Kennedy [BBC], and his talent isn’t in question. However, it’s his work-rate and fitness that have caused headaches for both Kennedy and Neil Lennon over the course of 20-21.
Callum McGregor is right: Griff can still be key for Scotland
On form, Griffiths is as good as a striker gets for Scotland. His previous heroics, including two identical, beautiful free-kicks against England, prove that.
While he’s never found a level of consistency for Scotland, he’s the kind of player who can provide an immediate spark. While Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams have looked decent, the Tartan Army know there’s room for more quality finishers within Clarke’s squad.
Is he a risk? Unfortunately, yes. However, Griffiths is a proven match-winner.
In any case, it’s great to see Callum McGregor step up and provide a real morale boost for his colleague. That’s not the kind of thing that goes unnoticed, we’re sure.