By Harvey Byrne
Former Scotland international midfielder Michael Stewart has claimed that striker Leigh Griffiths is “far too good a player to be sitting on the bench for 70 minutes.”
The striker started on the club’s bench for the Hoops’ 1-0 victory against Rangers on Sunday afternoon before coming on with 70 minutes on the clock and assisting Moussa Dembele for the winning strike 18 minutes later.
The 26-year-old Scotland international has been pushed out of the line-up given the form of summer signing Dembele, but Stewart has stated Brendan Rodgers must find a way for them both to start.
“Rodgers has been adamant this season it is either one or the other, but surely yesterday proved they can become a potent partnership,” said Stewart to the Scottish Sun.
“The are both intelligent footballers capable of linking play and scoring goals. Both of them can play in either the No.9 or No.10 role.
“I see it as a similar situation to when Van Persie and Rooney were at Manchester United together a couple of seasons back.
“Fergie found a way to get both in the team without them compromising each other’s style.
“It is the same for Griffiths and Dembele.
“I believe they can complement each other and feed off each other.
“Maybe away from home in the Champions League you can understand Rodgers only having room for one of them.
“But, domestically? Surely there is no reason why they can’t form a two-pronged attack.
“Griffiths is far too good a player to be sitting on the bench for 70 minutes every week. His pass for Celtic’s winner was pure quality. The ball only travels a few yards, but the vision from him is exceptional.”
Dembele, 20, has been in fine form for the Scottish giants following his move from Championship side Fulham in the summer.
He has bagged an impressive 14 goals in 20 encounters in all competitions and has been a key factor in Rodgers’ good start at Celtic Park.
The Hoops are currently four points clear at the top of the Premiership table, while also making their way into the Scottish League Cup final and competing in the Champions League.