UEFA update gives Euro 2021 boost to Celtic pair

By Sean Clifford

April 27, 2021

Celtic duo Leigh Griffiths and David Turnbull have received a boost in their hunt for places in Scotland’s UEFA EURO 2021 squad.

Reported by journalist Anthony Joseph, the UEFA national teams committee have recommended increasing squad capacity from 23 to 26 players. Celts such as Ryan Christie, Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor and freshly selected Jack Hendry all seem certainties for the Euros after obtaining recent call-ups [BBC].

However, there has been substantial talk in the last few weeks over the additions of David Turnbull and Leigh Griffiths. Both are two potentially useful players for Steve Clarke to have at his disposal. Turnbull has been a star for Celtic ever since his rise to prominence at home to Lille in the Europa League [Sky Sports].

Meanwhile chat surrounding Griffiths’ prospective inclusion has formulated due to fellow striker Oli McBurnie being ruled out of the competition due to injury [Athletic]. Even without being fully fit, Griffiths is something of an impact specialist due to his love for big games. Demonstrating this last week, he notched a dramatic late equaliser in the Hoops 1-1 stalemate at Pittodrie [BBC].

David Turnbull and Leigh Griffiths are in the Celtic team again / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Do both Celtic stars deserve to go to the UEFA European Championships?

At the very least, you would be hard pushed to find many people stating Turnbull’s form wouldn’t merit international recognition. Arguably the best player in the country in 2020/21, the 21-year-old has registered nine goals and seven assists in 36 games [Transfermarkt]. Outshining a lot of his fellow Hoops teammates, he has been a constant goal threat in a bleak Celtic season.

Involved in around 2.7 key passes per game [WhoScored], his influence on the wider sphere of the Hoops attacking play is evident.

On the other hand, former Hibernian man Griffiths has not exactly set the heather alight the past year. Suffering well documented fitness issues, questions surrounding his reliability have dogged his campaign [Glasgow Live]. 7 goals in 24 outings have shown limited excerpts of his quality [Transfermarkt]. However, we all know how predatory he can be in front of the target.

The 30-year-old may use Celtic’s last three league fixtures as a launchpad for his EURO 2021 hopes. Always most productive with the bit between his teeth, he may save his club and international prospects yet.

READ MORE: Celtic supporters left counting the cost once more