Former Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan has made a claim involving Celtic’s Giorgos Giakoumakis following an impressive start to life in Glasgow.
The lowdown: Big miss
Currently sidelined with a hamstring issue, the 27-year-old was sorely missed by Ange Postecoglou’s side as the Hoops fell to defeat in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.
In the Greek ace’s absence, it was left up to Daizen Maeda to spearhead the attack at Hampden Park with Kyogo Furuhashi left to watch on from the bench.
The latest: Whelan rates Giakoumakis
Speaking to Football Insider, former Aberdeen man Whelan, who is now an ambassador for Premier League club Leeds United, has suggested that the ‘amazing‘ Greece international is clear of the alternatives after ‘what he’s seen‘ at Celtic Park.
“He’s by far the best striker Celtic have at the moment.
“He gives you the work rate, the stature, and the physicality which can really trouble teams. We saw that during the last Old Firm game. They couldn’t handle him.
“That’s what Celtic were missing on Sunday. Someone a little bit more robust, who can really work the two centre-halves into areas they don’t want to go into.
“I think with the way he’s playing, it’s hard not to miss a player like that – he gives you such a focal point and he’s not a bad goalscorer either.”
The verdict: Impressive beginnings
However, it’s not just the goal output that has made the striker stand out from the rest as the ex-AEK Athens man also boasts an impressive 72% passing accuracy and 54% aerial duel success rate (Sofascore), proving to be the focal point Sutton referred to.
As the end of the campaign looms large, Postecoglou will want his talismanic star back up and running as quickly as possible to help fire the Bhoys over the line and with it, secure UEFA Champions League football for next term.
In other news, former Celtic striker Chris Sutton worried over injury woes. Read more here.
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