Hibs skipper James McPake believes Easter Road team-mate Leigh Griffiths is the best striker in Scotland at the moment after the on-fire hitman’s first hat-trick took Pat Fenlon’s side into the semi-finals of the William Hill Scotish Cup.
Griffiths’ three goals against Kilmarnock made it seven in five games for the on-loan Wolves star, taking his tally for the season to 22 – a personal best.
McPake insists that record puts Griffiths “right up there” with the likes of Celtic’s Gary Hooper and Johnny Russell of Dundee United, and should put him in the frame for a Scotland call-up when Gordon Strachan names his squad next week for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Serbia.
McPake, who has known Griffiths since they were together at Livingston, said: “In my opinion, he’s the best striker in the SPL right now. People might laugh at me when I say that but he’s the top goalscorer and against Kilmarnock he was unplayable.
“Teams are starting to look scared of him. They don’t want to go near him. I rate him up there with the likes of Gary Hooper and Johnny Russell, without a doubt.
“On form, he should be in the Scotland squad. He’s the league’s top scorer and I don’t see many Scottish boys as good as him.
“He’s at the right age and I’m sure they’re looking at him.”
Meanwhile, Hibs have been drawn against First Division Falkirk in the Scottish Cup semi-final, with the other tie an all-SPL affair between Celtic and Dundee United. The games will be played on the weekend of April 13/14.