SPFL boss tips Celtic loanee for international return; details chats with Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

November 25, 2021

Celtic loanee Leigh Griffiths, who’s struggled so far at Dundee, has been tipped for a Scotland recall and has been the subject of chats with Ange Postecoglou.

James McPake, Dundee manager, has said that Griffiths is responding well to injury treatment. He also alluded to conversations with Postecoglou, who he said “spoke very highly” of the on-loan striker.

Griffiths has scored just once for the Dark Blues thus far. Struggles and bizarre disciplinary issues have been key set-backs for the former Scotland international.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Dens Park favourite Lee Wilkie stated that the former Wolves and Hibs striker is already running out of chances.

That isn’t how McPake sees things, though.

The Dundee boss said [Courier]:

“He has been training really well and has shown a real hunger to work hard which is pleasing as he is still a very good player.

“I have had private conversations with him about what he can go on and do. I also had a conversation with Ange Postecoglou about him and he spoke very highly about Leigh as well.

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“If Leigh can get himself fit, then there are big games coming up not just for Dundee but for Scotland.

“If Leigh Griffiths is fit and is the Leigh Griffiths we know, then who knows?”

It seems incredibly unlikely that Celtic loanee Leigh Griffiths would get back into Scotland squad

Given the way Scotland are playing of late, with Ché Adams and Lyndon Dykes scoring on a regular basis, it seems unlikely that Griffiths would get back into Steve Clarke’s reckoning. Even if he was on good form.

But Griffiths has found the net only once in 525 minutes of football this season [Transfermarkt]. That was before he got injured, which has only impeded progress.

It’s at least positive that Griffiths has been working hard in training. Whether he has any kind of future at Celtic – which seems unlikely – he needs to assert himself somewhere.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Obviously, McPake is going to back his star striker. Especially when Dundee are needing goals in bunches to mount a campaign for league survival. Currently, they’re second last in the table, having scored just 11 times in 13 outings [BBC]. Two of those goals came in a loss to Celtic.

Talk of a Scotland call-up, though? At this point, it seems far-fetched. Especially when Steve Clarke has built a squad he likes, based on ability and personality.

Ange Postecoglou keeping an interest shows a couple of things. One, that he has an all-encompassing role at Celtic that he takes very seriously. Two, that despite Griffiths being away from the club, he feels he has a duty of care.

We mightn’t read too much into what it means for Griffiths and his chances of a revival at Celtic. But it is a mark of the manager’s care for his players, whether they’re with him or not.

Read more: “Wasn’t a four goal difference”; Top European manager suggests his side were lucky against Celtic