Giorgos Giakoumakis: Everything you need to know about Celtic’s newest striker

The Greek international is capable of making a big impact but will know he has big boots to fill.

Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis already knows he will have big boots to fill after the departure of talisman Odsonne Edouard to Crystal Palace.

A name very few Celtic supporters will be familiar with, the 26-year-old became the Hoops 10th summer signing as he inked a five-year-deal in a move worth £2.5m.

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Standing at just over six feet, the tall, imposing forward will provide a significant aerial threat as he outlined during his time in the Netherlands with VVV-Venlo. Manager Ange Postecoglou will hope the Greek international can strike up a good partnership with fellow new recruits Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada.

Celtic appear to be inheriting a player high in confidence on the back of his most successful season to date as Giakoumakis ended the 2020/21 Eredivisie campaign as top scorer with 27 goals in 37 matches.

His strong presence in and around the penalty box and his powerful link-up play will no doubt excite the Parkhead crowd. His game is centred around goals, and he will require good service from the likes of Furuhashi, Turnbull and Forrest to provide him with scoring chances.

Expectation levels will have been heightened further after Giakoumakis was handed the club’s iconic No.7 shirt, following in the footsteps of Hoops legends Henrik Larsson, Jimmy Johnstone and previous fan favourite Patrick Roberts.

We’ve gathered all the information you could ever wish to know on Celtic’s newest striker below...

Where was Giorgos Giakoumakis born?

Giakoumakis was born on December 9th 1994 in Heraklion, the largest city on the island of Crete.

Crete is situated approximately 160km south of the Greek mainland and is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands.

Who did Giorgos Giakoumakis play for before joining Celtic?

Giakoumakis started his professional career in 2011 with Atsalenios, a third-tier outfit competing in the Gamma Ethniki, based in Heraklion.

He earned a move to Greek Super League 2 outfit Platanias, but initially struggled for game-time and in January 2014, he moved on loan to Episkopi in the same division, scoring twice in 11 appearances.

A return to Platanias was on the cards and his first Super League goal arrived in April 2015 during a 2-0 home win over Panetolikos. He went on to convert 14 goals in 59 appearances.

The striker subsequently caught the eye of Greek Cup winners AEK Athens and was at the time considered among the brightest talents in a centre-forward position in the country.

He agreed terms on a four-year stay in the summer of 2017 under the guidance of Spanish manager Manolo Jimenez. He had to wait until December to bag his first goal in a cup competition before scoring his first league goal as a late substitute in a 2-1 away victory over champions Olympiacos in February 2018.

A six-month loan spell at relegation threatened OFI Crete followed in January 2019. However, Giakoumakis helped in their battle to avoid the drop as he scored in the second leg of their relegation play-off final against former club Platanias to maintain their Super League status.

He ventured out of his native Greece for the first time in March 2020 when he joined Poland’s most successful club in history Gornik Zabrze on loan, netting three times in 12 appearances.

His career continued on an upward trajectory as left AEK for £180,000 to join Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo on a two-year contract in August 2020. He set the Eredivisie alight on the opening day of the season by scoring an impressive second half hat-trick against FC Emmen.

Giakoumakis has since scored against AZ Alkmaar, a spectacular bicycle kick against FC Groningen and netted all four goals on two separate occasions in victories over ADO Den Haag and Vitesse Arnhem.

That achievement earned him a place alongside former Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez as the only two players in the 21st century to have twice scored in a single Eredivisie game.

He was voted Player of the Month for January on the back of scoring the most goals in Holland in a calendar month since 1985. Despite Venlo’s poor run of form, Giakoumakis made history by catching Hans Sleven’s record of 24 goals in the space of a year, as he rose to fifth in the club’s all-time scoring charts.

VVV-Venlo were unable to avoid relegation after failing to win any of their last 14 matches, but Giakoumakis finished last season as the Eredivisie top scorer.

Has Giorgos Giakoumakis played for Greece?

The frontman was called up to the Greece National Team for the first time in November 2020, scoring on his debut during a 2-1 friendly win over Cyprus.

So far, that remains his only goal for his country in six appearances. He missed the 1-1 friendly draw against the World’s No.1 ranked side Belgium in June due to a shoulder injury.

Prior to making his senior breakthrough, Giakoumakis stepped on to the international scene with the Under-21s in March 2015 under head coach Kostas Tsanas, making three appearances.

Is Giorgos Giakoumakis on Instagram and Twitter?

The 26-year-old is active on social media. He does not use Twitter but his is handle on Instagram is @giakoum9_official.

Aside from post-match photos of him celebrating and sharing video clips of him scoring goals, Giakoumakis has also given fans an idea of what he likes to do when he isn’t playing football by spending time with his family.

The striker captioned his latest post “Can’t wait to start! Let’s go @celticfc” after his signing was announced. Some of his older posts from his time with Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo show a laidback player with a keen eye for goal and some flashes of individual brilliance.

What did Giorgos Giakoumakis have to say after completing his move to Celtic?

“I’m looking forward to wearing the Celtic shirt with pride. Celtic is one of the world’s great football clubs with the best fans around. It is a club I have admired for so long.

“To know that the manager wanted me so much to join Celtic is really humbling and it makes me know I have made the right choice.

“I will give 100 per cent and try to help my team-mates win every game, a target Celtic should always have.

“We have some exciting challenges this season in Scotland and in Europe and I will be doing all I can to help the team as much as possible and bring our supporters success.

“I have worked with Georgios Samaras before in Greece and have watched a lot of his games during his time at Celtic. He is now the vice-president of one of my former clubs, OFI Crete.

“He told me how big this club is and that the atmosphere is always amazing.”