Pierre van Hooijdonk's verdict on Celtic signing Giakoumakis

By David Walton

September 5, 2021

Former 90s Celtic star Pierre van Hooijdonk has been left extremely impressed with the club’s new signing Giorgos Giakoumakis.

van Hooijdonk knows the striker well condsidering the Greek forward has been operating in his homeland of Holland over the last 12 months. Despite being relegated with VVV-Venlo, Giakoumakis still managed to end the campaign as the league’s top scorer.

However, after only one year in the Netherlands, Giakoumakis believed it was time for a change. He moved to Parkhead in a £2.5m move on deadline day [Sky Sports]. With first-choice striker Odsonne Edouard heading out the exit door, the onus will be on Giakoumakis to step up and make an immediate impact.

But van Hooijdonk certainly isn’t concerned about the deal as he could do nothing but praise the new man.

As quoted by the Daily Record, van Hooijdonk said: “I think he’s capable of scoring 20-plus goals for Celtic this season. If you use him properly and play to his strengths, he’s going to get the club a lot of goals. The level of his finishing is top class. If you look at his goals, most of them are really good goals, with a real identity. They’re not all just about power.

“I can understand what he tries to do with his finishes, even when he misses chances. This boy is different, he’s more of a poacher. He’s more like Griffiths than Edouard.”

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“Giakoumakis thrives on chaos” | VVV-Venlo recruitment analyst Marc Lamberts

“Giakoumakis thrives on chaos” | VVV-Venlo recruitment analyst Marc Lamberts
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Celtic need to have added something different in Giorgos Giakoumakis

Celtic last season offered one thing up top – a proper presence. Whilst Edouard had the physique and aerial ability, the fact he was so off-form led to him being far too wasteful in possession.

Outside of the Frenchman, who’s now left, we have no alternative to Giakoumakis when it comes to aerial threat. Kyogo Furuhashi isn’t going to be dominating in the air anytime soon. Same goes for Albian Ajeti. Giakoumakis needs to provide that target-man we’ve been missing for too long.

Granted, van Hooijdonk believes he’s all about goals. His previous record suggests that to be the case too. Interesting for a player of Giakoumakis’ build it must be said.

Photo by Peter Lous/Soccrates/Getty Images

But he also has to be able to provide us with an outlet. A man capable of strong hold-up play and bringing the wide-men or attacking midfielders into the game.

Giakoumakis comes to Scotland with not much known about him by the Celtic fans. How he adapts to life in Scotland as well as the physical nature of Scottish football will tell us plenty about him early on.

But one thing’s for sure, he’s certainly caught the attention of van Hooijdonk, who appears to be all for this one.

In other news, Davie Provan brilliantly hits back at Mark Hateley’s Celtic remarks