Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has dropped a promising injury update regarding Giorgos Giakoumakis.
In a recent interview with The Scottish Mail on Sunday (via 67hailhail), the Bhoys boss revealed that the centre-forward is now back in training after recovering from a knee injury, as well as suggesting that the 27-year-old should be in line for a return to first-team football after the winter break.
Speaking about the condition of the Greece international, Postecoglou said: “Giako is close. One session was not enough for him to be right for Sunday. He is back now to almost being available. If we had one more game he would probably be available but we are now looking to get him back after the break.”
Considering the excitement that surrounded Giakoumakis’ £2.5m move to Parkhead this summer, the news that the striker – who has so far started just two games in his Celtic career – is finally back in contention for first-team football is sure to have delighted the Hoops fanbase and the 56-year-old manager alike.
And, if the £2.25m-rated man can hit anywhere near the heights he did at VVV-Venlo last season in the second half of the current campaign, his return from injury will very much feel like a new signing for Postecoglou and his side.
Indeed, over his 30 Eredivisie appearances last time out, the £8.2k-per-week hitman scored a remarkable 26 goals, registered one assist and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 3.2 shots – 1.5 of which were on target – and making 0.5 key passes per game.
These returns saw the centre-forward earn an extremely impressive seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.35, ranking him as the joint sixth-best performer in the entirety of the division – a rather extraordinary feat when considering the fact that he was playing for a side that suffered relegation from the top flight.
As such, should Giakoumakis indeed be able to refind this form in the second half of the current campaign, it would undoubtedly come as a game-changing boost to Celtic’s chances of reclaiming the Premiership crown come next May – an outcome that would delight everyone involved with the club.