Football Oranje founder Michael Bell on "deadly" Celtic target Georgios Giakoumakis
With Celtic needing strikers, and seemingly proficient at finding excellent value this summer, the name of Georgios Giakoumakis has leapt from the page.
After all, we’re talking about a striker who scored 26 goals for a team that was relegated [Transfermarkt]. Despite his goal-scoring heroics, VVV-Venlo dropped out of the Eredivisie.
Scoring a range of finishes, proficient in the penalty box and still just 26, it’s remarkable that Giakoumakis remains available.
Having spoken to a Dutch footballing expert about tonight’s opponents, AZ Alkmaar, we had to bother him again. Who is Georgios Giakoumakis, and can his goal-scoring antics be sustained outside the Dutch top-flight?
We spoke to Football Oranje founder and editor Michael Bell, to find out more.
The sudden rise of Georgios Giakoumakis
67 Hail Hail: 26 goals for a relegated side. That’s not just unusual, it’s incredible. Was it a sudden upturn in form for Giakoumakis?
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Michael Bell: “VVV signed Giakoumakis from AEK Athens last summer and there wasn’t much excitement around the signing. However, he exploded in the Eredivisie.
“Compared with his form for his previous sides it was certainly an upturn in form.
“The main question mark around him is whether it was just a one of season like we have seen in the Eredivisie before or whether he is capable of scoring that many goals on a regular basis.”
If he’d been playing for a better team, how many could he realistically scored last season?
“It is hard to say. But I think if you placed him in a side that created a lot of chances and liked to put crosses into the box, then he is definitely capable of scoring double figures.
“He did score against Ajax, AZ and Vitesse last season so he could do it against the better defences in the league.”
Georgios Giakoumakis: what makes the Greek striker special
What are Giakoumakis’ key attributes, and what does he add to a team’s attack?
“Giakoumakis is a presence up front who is good in the air but also has a strong right foot. He is a handful for the backline and is always full of running. Giakoumakis took a lot of shots for VVV last season and scored a varied range of goals. He is a great penalty taker and deadly from close range.
“However, this is all based on one season for VVV, who relied fully on the Greek forward and built their side around him.
“The big question mark around him is whether he can do it for a side challenging at the top of the table.
“To be honest I am surprised that he hasn’t been snapped up yet. Feyenoord were linked for a while but that seems to have gone cold. I think he would be a good signing for Celtic or Werder [Bremen].”
Our take: an interesting target at the very least
When the Eredivisie top scorer becomes available, it’s probably best to take a look. Especially when they were in a side that utterly sank last season. VVV-Venlo couldn’t stop leaking goals, and it was Giakoumakis who kept them in games.
As Bell says though, that was for a team that was largely built around him. Could he cut it at a higher level? The raw materials are there. He wins fouls, he’s creative, he has energy, and is capable of scoring a range of goals.
Given the reported cost involved [Daily Record], it wouldn’t be a bank-busting move. Therefore, there’s really precious little against Celtic moving in for the Greek striker.
We’d be excited to see how his game translates to Scotland.