'Amazing...' - Exclusive: Alex McLeish wowed by 'Invisible' Celtic player
Alex McLeish has hailed Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths for his “amazing” ability to bounce back from lengthy absences in his career.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers manager claimed that the standard of the 30-year-old’s movement in and around the opposition penalty area is so good that he is almost “invisible” to defenders at times.
Griffiths announced his arrival back into Neil Lennon’s first team plans with a vital late strike in the Hoops’ 2-0 win over St. Johnstone last Sunday.
That appearance was Griffiths’ first of the season after being sidelined with a calf strain for some time.
Earlier in the summer, Lennon had criticised the striker for returning to training out of shape following the UK-wide Coronavirus lockdown.
But McLeish was impressed with what he saw from the Scotland international upon his return to the fold.
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Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He’s a fox in the box.
“He came on and if he looked as if he was sharp. He showed good movement, making those typical Leigh Griffiths-type forays into the box, and his goal was great.
“It was almost as if he was invisible. Why has somebody not gone out and blocked his run into the box? He exploited that space absolutely instinctively.
“He’s tremendous. At times, he has missed three or four months of his career. Then all of a sudden he comes back as if nothing has happened – it’s amazing.”
Sunday’s outing at McDiarmid Park was Griffiths‘ first Scottish Premiership appearance for the Bhoys since he hit a hat-trick against St. Mirren in the final game of last season’s title-winning campaign back in March.
Overall, Griffiths struck nine times across 10 league starts in 2019/20, accruing a further 11 appearances from the bench.
In other Celtic news, Frank McAvennie reveals one player has been doing extra training ahead of Rangers clash.