Mark McGhee has claimed that Leigh Griffiths is more than good enough to play for Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Now assistant to Gordon Strachan in the Scotland set-up, the former Newcastle striker thinks the Celtic forward has progressed so much in the last 12/18 months, he could easily be playing for a team like NUFC in the top tier.

Mark McGhee watches lots of matches and was at Brighton’s 1-0 win over Newcastle nine days ago, saying ‘absolutely no danger’ when it comes to Leigh Griffiths handling the Premier League.

There is always debate about players/teams doing well in Scotland and how they would/could do in England.

The bottom line in recent times is that decent Premier League strikers don’t end up in Scotland and forwards moving in the other direction rarely end up as a success in England.

Leigh Griffiths himself moved from Dundee to (then) Premier League Wolves back in 2011 and couldn’t get a game.

Going back on loan to Scottish Premier League club Hibernian for two years, he eventually went back to Wolves and at last got regular football…but only because they were in League One.

Wolves then were happy to sell him to Celtic and he has scored goals for fun since returning north of the border.

A great example to back up the gulf in class between club football in Scotland and England, is shown by Scott Sinclair.

Since moving to Celtic he has scored 24 league goals in 35 starts and 7 sub appearances, whilst his entire Premier League record in England is only 13 goals in 117 league appearances.

At that Brighton v Newcastle match, if you are honest then neither Joselu or Hemed are first choice Premier League strikers who will regularly get goals in the top tier, though playing in the Scottish pub league no doubt they would rack up the goals.

Leigh Griffiths could move to and play for an English Premier League club but he wouldn’t score goals, up front is the position where you have to have investment, and it has been a major handicap to Rafa Benitez.

The Liverpool result/display was an achievement considering the options available to the two managers, especially restricting the visitors to so few chances, however the lack of quality and threat provided by Joselu and Ayoze Perez was apparent to everybody.

When Rafa Benitez is next allowed to go shopping, let’s hope he isn’t forced to head north of the border!

Mark McGhee speaking to Glasgow Evening Times:

“A year to 18 months ago if someone down the road had said to me ‘could Leigh Griffiths do well in the Championship?’ I’d have said ‘He is a finisher. In the right team then probably.’

“Now if someone asked if he could do well in the Premier League I’d not hesitate.

“His all-round game has improved so much.

“Remember I watch these games all the time.

“Last week I was at Brighton against Newcastle and Leigh could have played in either of those teams. Absolutely no danger.”

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  • steve pearce

    I was thinking the same thing – but with the Scottish Premiership being more like a northern Championship and our impeding sale to magnates from the middle east I think we will be aiming a bit higher in our quest for a new striker.

    • Danimal

      Careful Steve, are you sure you’ve not misheard this one? It could be Fatty has lined up Magnet Kitchens for stadium naming rights. Obviously fingers crossed you’re right of course.

  • ghostrider

    Maybe he could and maybe he couldn’t.

    Years Team Apps (Gls)
    2006–2009 Livingston 47 (22)
    2009–2011 Dundee 47 (21)
    2011–2014 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 (12)
    2011–2013 → Hibernian (loan) 66 (31)
    2014– Celtic 101 (67)

    2012– Scotland 15 (3)

    The goals to games ratio for all clubs is impressive but only Celtic stand out as an eye opener.
    However, Celtic are more akin to the Davids verses the Goliath (Celtic being Goliath) with the David’s forgetting to bring their sling shot for their pockets full of stones.
    Basically speaking, Griffiths is a good player. He’s prolific for Celtic because Celtic allow him to be.
    Put Mitrovic in that Celtic team and he would probably double that tally…..Maybe…..Possibly.

    His Scotland call ups are not very impressive. Why’s that?
    A different player now. Maybe…but who for and who against?

    Even James Tavernier at right back for Rangers became prolific in scoring and he was a right back.

    Imagine how much he would cost?
    Ermmm, yeah, you can have Griffiths for ermmm 75 million because he’s scored loads of goals in Scotland against all the top teams.

    Nahhhhhhhh, not for me.

  • Paul Patterson

    How much would he cost?
    In a word- No.

  • Malus Ultor

    Hilarious.

    Newcastle! Wouldn’t say The Griff would care much for relegation dog fights.

  • Peaky Magpie

    No,anyone remember John Robertson.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      I remember that season only too well with the signings of Robertson, Hendrie, Thorn, And ***kin’ Dave Beasant who were meant to take us into glory.

      We all know how it turned out lol

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    Players can improve no doubt and their are countless stories where some have been kicked out of clubs and went on to do really well at others.
    I watched Griffiths in his time at Wolves and he was basically a passenger the whole time.
    He’s someone who is on a level with Willo Flood who was also in The Prem and couldn’t cut it but now has found his level in Scotland.
    Griffiths couldn’t even cut it at Championship level first time around so would he now be any different stepping up in level ?
    I’m not saying he couldn’t prove people wrong and you wouldn’t begrudge him the chance but it is a massive difference in class.
    Even the Hearts lads were saying in the pre-season game that Newcastle’s players were physically bigger and more imposing than any of their squad and they couldn’t get over the difference.

  • Da Ca

    Wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole the man is trouble

  • NUFCDan

    Gary Hooper was pretty terrible for Norwich in the PL and his goal scoring record was even better at Celtic.

  • Steve Smith

    Playing for a pub team in a pub league. He’d struggle to even get a game for the unwashed.

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Wouldn’t mind a young Mark McGhee! Mind he wasn’t the quickest but very skillful.