Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda has been talking about new signing Giorgos Giakoumakis after his recent move from Celtic.

The MLS coach was speaking about the Greek forward to the Atlanta Journal, via Football Scotland, after his £4m transfer.

It ended the striker’s 18 month stay at Parkhead in which he scored 26 goals in 57 appearances.

He shared striking duties with Kyogo Furuhashi but could never fully establish himself as first-choice under Ange Postecoglou.

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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Defender Greg Taylor has since defended Giakoumakis after question marks over his commitment to the side.

“I don’t think that’s fair to say,” Taylor explained.

“Jura [Josip Juranovic] and Giako were massive contributors to us. They were definitely 100% all in.

“They wanted to try a different challenge and that’s fair enough – that’s a player’s preference.”

Atlanta is certainly a different challenge to Celtic for a variety of reasons, not least the climate.

Unfortunately, since his Celtic move, Giakoumakis hasn’t even been able to train with his new Atlanta teammates.

Despite that Pineda has already explained what he’s excited to see from the 28-year-old when he’s in action.

Atlanta boss excited about Giakoumakis after Celtic move

Asked about what attributes he’s most looking forward to seeing from the centre-forward, Pineda said: “You can see immediately that he’s a guy that is passionate about scoring goals.

“And what I like about him is he’s always on the move, looking for gaps. And once he’s inside the 18, he has those double movements that I really like.

“So, he’s always pressuring, he goes to the near post, he goes to the far post, he’s going to the near post, he drops in and stays compact.”

Rangers FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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Visa issues have meant that Giakoumakis has had to patiently wait to get involved in the USA.

He links up with another former Celtic player in Andrew Gutman, who’s time at Celtic Park never quite worked out.

Atlanta’s MLS campaign kicks off in less than two weeks’ time, and they’ll hope to have the big Greek striker available by then.

Giakoumakis had a fine scoring record for Celtic, and if he can repeat that for Atlanta, he’ll become a fan favourite quickly enough.

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