Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis expertly rejects media's stirring narrative of 'battle' with teammate

By John McGinley

April 7, 2022

Giorgos Giakoumakis wasn’t interested in hooking onto the media bait of a pitched battle between himself and the returning Kyogo Furuhashi today, insisting he is looking forward to having his teammate back on the pitch.

Giakoumakis has been a mainstay of the Celtic team throughout 2022 so far after overcoming his own injury problems, taking over the mantle of a focal-point attacker from the Japanese talent.

Now that Kyogo is returning to fitness, undoubtedly there is curiosity as to how Ange Postecoglou is going to manage the game time of both, or even how he will play them together.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, Giakoumakis ensured today that everyone knows it’s not a source of personal conflict between the two players.

Asked if he was looking forward to the ‘battle’ with him to be Celtic’s ‘number 9’ upfront, Giakoumakis said [Celtic YouTube]: “Actually, I’m not looking forward to a battle. He’s my teammate and we have to help the team, both of us, in order to score some goals and win games.

“The only thing I’m focused on is the games we have to play until the end of the season. We have to win all of them. It’s a pleasure for me to play alongside Kyogo and it’s really good and really nice to have him back with us.”

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This is exactly the kind of attitude we want to hear from the players. It was only going to be a matter of time before some people tried to make this a ‘Giakoumakis vs Kyogo’ thing when the reality is that Ange Postecoglou has two fine options that can fit into the team in a number of ways.

Who’s to say the manager won’t even look to utilise both of them in the same starting eleven? Anything is possible.

First of all, we need to see Kyogo get back to full match sharpness anyway after a long three months out of action.

Either way, Giakoumakis is going to remain a crucial part of Postecoglou’s plans, that much has become clear.

In other news, Barry Bannan reveals Braga manager’s Celtic link.