Scotland assistant Steven Reid has been wowed by Leigh Griffiths’ quality in training as he admitted the striker’s goal against Aberdeen last month blew him away.
Griffiths has been banging on the door for an international recall in recent months as he continues to produce impressive cameos from the bench for Celtic. The Hoops striker now has three goals to his name in his last five Hoops appearances as he starts to pick up some form.
This led to Scotland boss Steve Clarke selecting Griff for the first time ever as he prepares for a huge Euro 2020 playoff final against Serbia on Thursday. Clarke then suggested yesterday that Griffiths will start the game on the bench (Sky Sports).
But Reid has been stunned by the quality of the Celtic striker’s finishing both this season and in training.
As quoted by the Aberdeen Evening Express, Reid said: “It was a smaller training session but you see glimpses, you see it all the time, those moments of quality that might be needed.
“His finish against Aberdeen took my breath away, the shift and the finish into the top corner.
“That’s what he offers, that’s what I have seen, that’s the quality he has, which has never been in doubt, it’s just about the consistency and the amount of minutes he has played and getting back up to match speed. But the quality is there and it was a pleasure to see some of his touches and finishes.”
Griffiths doesn’t need to justify his place
Let’s face it, we’ve all been gobsmacked by Griffiths in the past when it comes to his exploits on the pitch. He’s capable of both the ridiculous and the unthinkable. However, perhaps most importantly of all, he’s capable of injecting renewed energy to the frontline.
Scotland may feel they don’t particularly need that given that Lyndon Dykes has scored twice in the past two international breaks. But the truth is that they definitely do.
If you look through that Scotland squad, you don’t see anyone who even comes close to having Griffiths’ attributes. Not many in that team can make something out of nothing, with the exception of maybe Ryan Christie. Griffiths more than merits his place in the Scotland squad and arguably should’ve been in there last month too.
Don’t tell me Oli McBurnie is better just because he’s playing in the English Premier League. McBurnie doesn’t come close to Griffiths in any sense, and the fact he’s gone 12 international appearances and barely come close to scoring tells its own story.
Griffiths should be one of the first names on Clarke’s squad list. That’s how good he is. But he needs his managers to start putting some faith in him. If Clarke does that, he’ll give himself every chance of making the Euros next summer.
Nobody will be surprised by Reid’s comments on Griffiths, and that’s the biggest compliment you can pay the Celtic striker. He can be Scotland’s secret weapon, but it wouldn’t be unlike Clarke if he failed to use it.