CELTIC legend Frank McGarvey has offered advice to Leigh Griffiths and backed him to return to the striking form that made him such a success for club and country.
The Hoops great reckons the 29-year-old Scotland international is the most natural finisher at Parkhead – and it’s time he started proving it on matchday.
McGarvey, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Can he come back given his problems and how long he has been out? Yes, you can always come back.
“If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. And Leigh Griffiths has got it.
“He’s proved he’s a striker capable of playing at the highest level. He’s a great finisher, he’s got so much going for him.
“I think he’s maybe got a wee bit of the ‘poor me’s’ and he has to try to get out of that and get back into the first team.
“He’s had problems and I can understand what he’s going through. But he’s got to get himself back.
“Leigh’s a fantastic finisher and a brilliant player and it’s up to him to get back and be first choice.”
LOST IN THOUGHT…Leigh Griffiths has a lot to ponder.
Odsonne Edouard’s stock has been rising since taking over the mantle as the champions’ main hitman following the £19.8million move by his fellow-countryman Moussa Dembele to Lyon on the last day of the August transfer deadline.
The France Under-21 international ace capped a memorable campaign when he scored both goals in the 2-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Hearts at Hampden on May 25 to seal the unprecedented treble treble.
Griffiths, of course, had come off the radar since November due to “personal issues”, but returned this season and scored his first goal with a trademark free-kick in a Champions League qualifier.
Injury has derailed his comeback, but McGarvey reckons he should be putting pressure on Edouard for that No.1 striking position.
He added: “There’s no point in being the best centre-forward at Parkhead if you can’t go out and prove that on a weekly basis. And that’s what Leigh’s not doing at the moment, unfortunately.
“I like Edouard. He’s maturing all the time and he’s coming into being a nice centre-forward. He’s a good player, as well – but Griffiths has proved it.
“But you need to prove it week in, week out and right now Griffiths is not doing that and Edouard is.
“So, of course, Edouard should be first choice.”
* McGarvey will manage a Celtic team of Fitba’ Greats against Charlie Miller’s Rangers at Oakley on Sunday.