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Why Scotland Need To Recall Leigh Griffiths

Date: 19th August 2019

Leigh Griffiths

Leigh Griffiths returned to training at Celtic just before the end of last season, after a significant period off due to difficult personal issues.

The striker returned to The Hoops first-team during preseason. He played his first competitive game in months during the Champions League qualifier against Sarajevo.

After his return to competitive football, Leigh said this:

“What a feeling walking back out on to the pitch after a difficult spell off.”

“Great to be back on amongst it again and the reception I got was incredible.”

“Someone said to me ‘after the darkness, there will be light’. 

“They promised me it! I didn’t believe them, but that person was right.”

Via @LeighGriffiths9 Instagram

The twenty-eight year old has so far hit a three goal return in his seven appearances this season. He has also provided an assist in one of his two Scottish Premiership appearances.

Leigh’s currently vying with Odsonne Edouard to become Celtic’s number one centre-forward this term.

Having Griffiths back on a football pitch and scoring goals is great for the player and for his club. But it’s also fantastic news for the Scottish national team!

Scotland in recent years have struggled when trying to find top preforming frontmen. Griffiths was that man back in 2017 when he struck four goals in his seven international appearances that year.

When Brendan Rodgers arrived in 2016, Leigh Griffiths had to adapt his game and learn to play as a lone striker. He did well and completed with Moussa Dembele for the starting berth. He didn’t get as many goals but he worked tirelessly for the team, worked the channels and linked better with his midfield teammates.

Playing for Scotland as a solo striker, you can’t hang around the box and hope chances just fall at your feet. You need to run your socks off and your runs need to be smart and create space for the likes of James Forrest and Ryan Fraser to run into.

Steven Fletcher can be a fine link up player and that’s why former Scots boss Alex McLeish seemed to prefer playing him as the country’s centre forward. But Fletcher’s commitment to Scotland’s cause has always been a bit flaky and he’s also had injury issues.

Current Tartan Army manager Steve Clarke likes Kilmarnock frontman Eamonn Brophy. The Killie attacker has experienced a tough start to this campaign (as has the whole club) and he looked very raw during his debut for the national team earlier in the summer.

Another potential starter up-top could be Hearts man Steven Naismith. The experienced forward is industrious but he too has a bleak history with injuries and has already had problems with his hamstrings this season.

Oli McBurnie joined English Premier League side Sheffield United for a £20m fee. I believe he could be a Scotland star but maybe one for the future and one that can be in the squad, learn from the more experienced forwards in the squad and get game time from the bench.

So Scotland aren’t blessed with a huge amount of capable strikers.

Having Griffiths back would do wonders for the team (in my opinion). He’s a player that’s been there and done it before. Out of all of our options, I really think Leigh is the best for grabbing goals out of very little. He will also work for the team and will be hungry to prove himself again at that level.

I also think recalling the hitman would be a great tonic for Scottish society. It will show anyone that’s suffering from any sort of mental health problem that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, there’s no longer a stigma surrounding the issue and that you have a place waiting for you when you recover and return to work.

Leigh Griffiths has done just that and he’s returned with a bang in the form of goals, assists and performances.

Hopefully he can do the same again in a Scotland jersey!

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