Manager Neil Lennon branded Gary Hooper as ‘world-class’ after the in-form striker notched the opening goal and set up the second in Celtic’s 3-2 away win over Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.

Hooper, born in Loughton, gave the visitors the lead on 12 minutes and the 24-year-old had the ball in the net again minutes later but his header was ruled out for offside.

Spartak’s Emmanuel Emenike turned the game on its head with goals either side of the break before the hosts were reduced to ten men with Hooper again involved as he was brought down by defender Juan Insaurralde who was shown a straight red card.

Celtic levelled when Hooper’s pass fed James Forrest whose shot went in off Spartak’s Dmitri Kmobarov, before Georgios Samaras grabbed a dramatic winner late on.

Lennon praised all his players after the game but singled out Hooper for special praise.

“I thought Gary Hooper was world-class tonight,” Lennon said.

“I thought he was just magnificent and the catalyst for a lot of the good things we did.

“People keep asking me about him playing for England, well I think he showed how good he is.”

Hooper, who can finish with both feet and does most of his work in and around the penalty area, showed a deftness of touch against Spartak that might attract further consideration from England manager Roy Hodgson.

For his opener Hooper showed pace to drive into the near post, and then subtlety to steer in Mikael Lustig's cross and his intricate movement was again on display soon after as he peeled away from his marker to head home Samaras’ cross, only to be ruled offside.

It was the sort of clinical finishing that fans at Parkhead have become accustomed to in recent years as Hooper has notched 46 goals in 66 appearances since his move from Scunthorpe in July 2010.

The hitman has scored seven in his last four games including a four-goal haul against Raith Rovers a fortnight ago.

After that match Lennon said: “"He has led the line brilliantly for us this season and I think he is definitely good enough to play for England."

Hodgson has so far though turned a blind eye to Hooper’s form, preferring the Premier League trio of Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge for the recent matches against Moldova and Ukraine.

After Hooper’s performance on Tuesday night Gary Lineker, who scored 48 goals in 80 appearances for England, tweeted: “With the dearth of English strikers Gary Hooper must be worth looking at. Only one way to find out if he has it.”

As the latest England squad is announced today Hooper perhaps has more reason to be hopeful than usual.