Giorgos Giakoumakis “only showed 70 percent” at Celtic.

Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates the second of his two goals in the 6-0 win against Motherwell at the weekend that saw him join Ross County's Charles Regan-Cook as the top scorer in the Premiership. Now he believes he can claim the honor alone next season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates the second of his two goals in the 6-0 win against Motherwell at the weekend that saw him join Ross County’s Charles Regan-Cook as the top scorer in the Premiership. Now he believes he can claim the honor alone next season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

That should strike fear into opposing defences, because if the 27-year-old was really just a warm-up in his first season at the club he hasn’t done half as badly. His double during a cameo appearance in the 6-0 win over Motherwell to complete Ange Postecoglou’s team’s title-winning campaign saw him join Ross County’s Regan Charles-Cook as the Premier League’s top cinch scorer. Giakoumakis scored 13 goals in 11 league starts and 10 bench games. His hit rate in the championship was unprecedented at the time. And he’s scored 17 goals in just 15 starts and 14 substitutes across all competitions.

All of that has been achieved despite being unprepared for the rigors in August with a £2.5million deal from Dutch club VVV-Venlo – who were the Eredivisie’s leading raiders with 26 goals. This led to fitness problems until the turn of the year. However, the player believes he has a coach in fellow Greek Postecoglou – whose background made the successful unification an added joy – who will continue to develop him both physically and technically. In fact, he believes that this process has already begun in earnest.

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“Of course I’ll be better next season,” said the frontman. “Right now I feel like I’ve shown maybe 70 per cent as I haven’t felt entirely fit or healthy for the first six months. It’s going to be very different when I get a full preseason. I hope next season will be great. finish top scorer [on my own] is one of my goals. First it’s about winning titles with the team and then becoming the league’s top scorer. I think if it wasn’t for those injuries or the lack of preparation I would have been one of the favourites [to do that by myself]. I would have loved it because that’s really satisfying. Because of the players around me, I’m confident for next season. You need them to become the top scorer – because someone has to give them to you. I have great faith in my teammates and I know I will have many chances. It’s about making sure you’re clinical. [And playing for Ange Postecoglou] is very special to me [with his background]. I learned so many things from him and really improved. I can see the difference in my body and level after just one season. Year after year it can get even better. I am very happy to work with him as he has helped us a lot.”

And Giakoumakis will lick the lips of the Celtic faithful with his belief that Postecoglou can pair him with Kyogo Furuhashi as a twin force. The duo never connected through the middle from the first whistle, even as the booming attacker scored 20 goals in total. “We haven’t played much together for various reasons, but it would be really nice and it could work,” said Giakoumakis. “We are so different in our playing styles. He’s a little guy with great movements that runs down the sides a lot. Maybe we could have a good partnership. I think it works so well for the team because we’re all so different. Exciting times are ahead.”

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https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/celtic/giorgos-giakoumakis-has-only-shown-70-per-cent-with-celtic-3697710 Giorgos Giakoumakis “only showed 70 percent” at Celtic.

Matthew Hallett

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