LEIGH GRIFFITHS must be hoping Steve Clarke is in the mood to take a gamble when he names his Scotland squad tomorrow.
The Celtic striker, who will be 31 in August, has endured a wretched campaign along with the rest of his team-mates and managed to score a paltry seven goals.
He is now sweating on the club making a decision on whether to activate the option of 12 months on his contract which expires at the end of this month.
It will be down to the incoming manager, but one look at Griffiths’ statistics will not encourage Eddie Howe – or whoever moves into the hot seat – to give it the green light.
Griffiths kicked off the term full of hope after completing the previous campaign on fire, thumping in a hat-trick against St Mirren in the final game before the coronavirus lockdown in March.
A fall-out with Neil Lennon over his condition in the pre-season saw him missing the four-game trip to France as the club prepared for a monumental challenge in the bid for a historic tenth successive title.
The quest fell apart in the midst of some inexpicable results that saw the manager pay the ultimate penalty by losing his job in February.
THE LAST HURRAH…Leigh Griffiths heads in the equaliser against Aberdeen in April, his final goal for Celtic this season.
Griffiths has hardly figured on a consistent basis over the past three years and, of course, it must be remembered he has had to overcome “personal issues” at the same time.
Clarke will name his preliminary player pool for the Euro Finals tomorrow with friendly matches lined up against Luxembourg and Holland before the Scots move onto the real thing with the Euro Finals opener against the Czech Republic on June 14. Ties against England at Wembley four days later and Croatia in Glasgow on the twenty-second will follow.
Griffiths’ pre-season target was to hit the ground running and make sure he was a success at club and country level. Alas, it has not happened and his international dreams could be wrecked tomorrow.
The forward, who endeared himself to the Hoops followers, realises a 12-month contract, worth at least £1million, is still within touching distance at Celtic.
And Clarke has yet to dismiss the qualities of a frontman who is a natural striker, as club legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, the team’s seventh-highest scorer with 189 goals, pointed out in a CQN EXCLUSIVE two weeks ago.
Is there still a future for Griffiths at Celtic and Scotland? That’s the £1million question.