Celtic secured the signing of VVV-Venlo striker Giorgos Giakoumakis on deadline day – and it looks like former Bhoy Georgios Samaras played a part.
The Bhoys were busy on deadline day, with three new arrivals brought in to bolster the squad at Ange Postecoglou’s disposal.
Winger Jota joined on loan from Benfica and striker Giakoumakis came in from VVV-Venlo before a last-gasp deal for Tottenham Hotspur defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was agreed.
Giakoumakis is a particularly important signing, as he will now be relied upon for goals after the departure of Odsonne Edouard to Crystal Palace.
He’s certainly no stranger to finding the net; Giakoumakis was the leading goalscorer in the Eredivisie last season, racking up 26 goals.
That was seven goals clear of Donyell Malen, who made a huge move to Borussia Dortmund this summer, with Celtic landing Giakoumakis for a fraction of the cost.
A physical centre forward, Giakoumakis may complement Kyogo Furuhashi well in the final, offering a focal point to go with Furuhashi’s movement off the ball.
Boss Postecoglou was born in Greece so will know plenty about Giakoumakis, and so will a former Celtic striker in Samaras after they worked together at OFI Crete.
Samaras became something of a cult hero at Celtic, recording 74 goals in 249 games in six-and-a-half years with the Bhoys.
Giakoumakis has now told Celtic’s official website that Samaras told him all about Celtic’s fans, branding them ‘great’ whilst telling Giakoumakis what a ‘very big club’ he has joined.
“I’ve watched a lot of Georgios’ games and we worked together in Greece, he’s now the president of OFI Crete where I played for two years,” said Giakoumakis.
“We’ve known each other for a while and we keep in touch, I’ve learned lots from him and that’s made me even more excited to come and play here. He told me that the fans are great, that I will represent a very big club, and I’ll be expected to win every game,” he added.