FORMER Rangers skipper Barry Ferguson has hailed Celtic hitman Leigh Griffiths as the “best striker in Scotland”.
The Ibrox icon dismissed the claims of Alfredo Morelos and Odsonne Edouard to give the nod to the 29-year-old comeback Bhoy who has made an impressive return to first-team action since the turn of the year.
Griffiths impressed Ferguson again when he fired in a superb ha-trick in the champions’ 5-0 victory over St Mirren at Parkhead to take his tally to eight in 2020.
The ex-Scotland international has no doubt the Hoops attacker is the most natural goalscorer in the country.
Ferguson, speaking on PLZ Soccer, said: “You’ve got to give him great credit for coming back. There was a lot of people doubting him
“We spoke about him at length in here and said he may have had to go out on loan.
“But fair play to him, he has obviously knuckled down, he’s worked hard in training and, for me, I have always said it – when a fit Leigh Griffiths is firing he is the best striker in Scotland.
“There is no doubt about it. He is the most natural goalscorer and you want him in the Scotland national team, as well. I think Steve Clarke will put him straight in.
“I think he is better when he links up with a striker and going on the national scene you’ve got Steven Naismith who could play just off him. So that could be a link up.
“But the thing you need to give Leigh Griffiths is tremendous credit.
“He’s come back from a long, hard road in terms of off-field problems, but he’s knuckled down and he’s getting his reward now by scoring goals.”
Asked if Steven Gerrard’s defenders should be worried if Neil Lennon fields Griffiths and Edouard together at the weekend, Ferguson answered: “Yeah.
“Every time I have watched Celtic with the 3-5-2 formation they look at their strongest.
“If Neil Lennon comes and plays that way then Rangers will be in for a tough time, there is no doubt about that.”
Sunday will be the fourth derby of the campaign with the Hoops winning two – 2-0 in Govan in September and 1-0 in the Betfred League Cup Final in December – but Gers were worthy 2-1 victors at Parkhead just before the turn of the year.
Now all eyes are on Ibrox at the weekend where a triumph for the champions, 13 points ahead, will all but end the race for the title.