Giorgos Giakoumakis 'has only shown 70 per cent' with Celtic

There is an ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ feel to how Giorgos Giakoumakis sees his Celtic career trajectory.

Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates the second of his two goals in the 6-0 thuming of Motherwell at the weekend that made him joint top cinch Premiership scorer alongside Ross County's Charles Regan-Cook. Now he believes he can claim the honour on his own next season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates the second of his two goals in the 6-0 thuming of Motherwell at the weekend that made him joint top cinch Premiership scorer alongside Ross County's Charles Regan-Cook. Now he believes he can claim the honour on his own next season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

That ought to strike fear into opposition defences because, if the 27-year-old really was just getting warmed-up across his first season at the club, he didn’t do half badly. His double during a cameo in the 6-0 demolition of Motherwell with which Ange Postecoglou’s team concluded their title-winning campaign ensured he ended joint-top cinch Premiership scorer with Ross County’s Regan Charles-Cook. Giakoumakis’s 13-goal haul came in 11 league starts and 10 bench outings. His strike rate in the championship was unparalleled then. And across all competitions, he bagged 17 goals from only 15 starts and 14 substitute appearances.

All of this was achieved despite arriving in August on a £2.5million deal from Dutch club VVV-Venlo – fresh from being the Eredivisie’s leading plunderer with 26 goals – under-prepared for the rigours. That led to fitness issues until the turn of the year. However, in his fellow Greek-born Postecoglou – whose background made their successful union an added delight for him – the player believes he has a manager who will develop him physically and technically. Indeed, he considers that process has already begun in earnest.

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“Of course I will be better next season,” said the frontman. “Right now I feel I’ve maybe shown 70 per cent as I didn’t feel fully fit or healthy in the first six months. It will be totally different when I get a full pre-season. I hope next season is going to be amazing. Finishing top scorer [on my own] is one of my targets. First of all it’s about winning titles with the team, and then it’s being the top league scorer. I think if I didn’t have those injuries or lack of pre-season I would have been one of the favourites [to do that by myself]. I would have loved it because that is really satisfying. I am confident about next season because of the players around me. You need them to be top goalscorer – because someone has to give you it. I have a lot of confidence in my team-mates and know I will have a lot of chances. It’s about making sure you are clinical. [And playing for Ange Postecoglou] is something really special for me [with his background]. I’ve learned so many things from him and really improved. I can see the difference in my body and levels after just one season. Year after year it can be even better. I’m really happy to work with him as he’s helped us a lot.”

And Giakoumakis will have the Celtic faithful licking lips with his belief Postecoglou can pair him with Kyogo Furuhashi as a twin strikeforce. The duo have never linked-up through the middle from the first whistle, even as the buzzing attacker posted a 20-goal total. “We haven’t played a lot together for different reasons but it would be really nice, and it could work,” said Giakoumakis. “We are so different in our styles of playing. He’s a little guy with great movement, doing a lot of running down the sides. Perhaps we could have a good partnership. I think it works so well for the team because we are all so different. There are exciting times ahead.”

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