Clubs around Europe will feel they missed a trick with £2.5m Celtic man Giakoumakis

By Euan Davidson

March 18, 2022

Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis scored 26 league goals for a relegated VVV-Venlo side last summer.

Given Venlo’s need to sell, and the phenomenal goal return the Greek striker provided, you’d have thought antennae would be twitching around Europe. After all, ex-Eredivisie top scorers tend to do well elsewhere. Luis Suarez, Huntelaar, even Mateja Kezman to a degree.

Yet, that wasn’t really the case. Werder Bremen, who found themselves in the 2. Bundesliga after a dreadful 20-21, enquired about Giakoumakis. The prospect of joining Greek-Aussie boss Ange Postecoglou with Celtic fans back at Parkhead, though, proved too alluring.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

All fine and well for us, of course. In 2022, Giakoumakis has burst into life, having overcome a difficult welcome period in Glasgow. He’s scored 8 of his 9 Celtic goals after Hogmanay [Transfermarkt], has emerged as a fan favourite, and even when he’s not scoring, he’s been impactful.

A column in today’s Daily Mail points to the options Giakoumakis should’ve had, but didn’t. It says [Scottish Daily Mail, print edition 18/3, p.85]: “Clubs from France and Spain did take a look at him but decided that the VVV-Venlo player wasn’t worth a punt even at £2.5million — small change in their financial stratospheres.

“Despite wreaking havoc in front of their eyes, there also wasn’t even a sniff from the big three in the Netherlands — PSV Eindhoven, Ajax or Feyenoord.”

More fool them.

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Celtic and Greece striker Giakoumakis has already proven he was well worth the fee – despite the wait

Granted, it didn’t always look the case that Giorgos Giakoumakis would be a success at Celtic.

So much was made of his missed penalty against Livingston. In the knee-jerk Scottish football media, some of the hyperbole was beyond the pale. Questions about Giakoumakis’ suitability for the league, whether he had the mental tools to be a Celtic player – it got ridiculous.

Between that and injuries it’s been far from the smooth ride for the Greek striker, as we’ve covered. Still, in a season where value has been king for Celtic, you could rank Giakoumakis alongside bargain buys like Josip Juranovic and Liel Abada for impact this season.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Given how many signings Celtic needed to make, to have a hit rate like we do is nigh-on unbelievable. You could only really suggest James McCarthy hasn’t been the best signing, but he still has something of a role to play. It’d be uncharitable, even if he hasn’t made the impact some would’ve hoped for.

No other clubs had real, substantial interest in Giakoumakis. He was meant to be a flash in the pan, a player who excelled in bizarre circumstances, but wouldn’t make the grade elsewhere.

Well, now he’s an international striker again.

Celtic gambled on Giakoumakis, and have come up trumps thus far.

Read more: Celtic star Liel Abada plays poster boy role for Israel U21s