Former international assistant backs unlucky Celtic striker Giakoumakis to shine under Ange

By Euan Davidson

January 11, 2022

Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has been backed to shine for the club, by a former Greece assistant manager.

Australian coach Michael Valkanis, who was assistant to John Van’t Schip between 2019 and 2021, believes that Giakoumakis, who’s had his share of injury issues since arriving at Celtic, will do great things for boss Ange Postecoglou.

Giakoumakis has been limited to just 276 minutes of action this season [Transfermarkt]. In flashes, he’s shown quality, including a well-taken goal against St Johnstone. He’s also been effective as a pressing forward, showing determination to hassle defenders and win the ball back in advanced areas.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, injuries have been a substantial issue. He carried a shoulder knock with him to Celtic, and other niggles have bothered him since moving to Glasgow.

However, Valkanis believes patience will be rewarded. He told Keep Up: “We had him at the time he was flying in the Eredivisie.

“He is a really good character. Really down to earth. He is still young and learning his trade.

“[Giakoumakis is] another one of those strikers playing in Europe, potentially, (who) can be really, really good.

“I think he has a lot of potential. It will be very good for him working with Ange, who will get the best out of him. He will be better for it in the next couple of years and he’ll be right up there.”

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Giakoumakis will come good yet for Celtic, as Valkanis gives his backing

In his brief spells for Celtic, it really has looked like the Bhoys have a player in Giakoumakis. Leaving aside that woeful penalty miss against Livingston, of course.

You don’t score that many Eredivisie goals for nothing. Especially in a side like VVV Venlo’s, who sank from the Dutch top tier.

Unfortunately, injuries have gnawed away at Giakoumakis’ playing time. But – and call this a ‘take’ or a prediction to bookmark if you wish – I really do think there’s a quality player there. He just needs time and a consistent run of games.

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It’s clear there’s a plan for him. Giakoumakis showed his 18-yard-box instincts against St Johnstone, and he has both the technique and physicality to be an option in the Hoops. In the future, Giakoumakis could be an intimidating focal point in a Celtic attack, with any of Kyogo, Maeda, Forrest, Jota or Abada working off him. There’ll be times when that’s our best option.

Postecoglou went out of his way to bring to him to Glasgow. It’s just been rotten luck for the striker that a raft of individual problems have stunted his early life at Celtic.

He has the backing of a quality coach who knows him from international level, though. That will surely help boost the confidence as he looks to make up for lost time in the latter half of 21-22.

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