GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS has been snubbed by former Celtic goal hero Charlie Nicholas after the ex-striker named his Premiership Team of the Year.
There were slots for EIGHT Hoops stars – plus Liam Scales on loan at Aberdeen – but there was no place for the Greek international striker.
The fact that Giakoumakis missed a chunk of the first part of the previous campaign with a knee problem but still finished joint-top scorer of the top flight with 13 goals failed to impress Nicholas.
KISS OFF…Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates his goal in the 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in August, but the Greek hitman didn’t do enough to impress Charlie Nicholas.
Not even two hat-tricks against Ross County and Dundee plus the title-clinching header against Dundee United in the 1-1 stalemate at Tannadice on May 11 could convince the 60-year-old pundit who enjoyed two stints at Parkhead.
Instead, the one-time Parkhead pin-up Bhoy went for Antonio Colak who was brought to Ibrox in the summer, but failed to win a place in Croatia’s World Cup Finals squad for Qatar.
Kyogo Furuhashi takes his place up front alongside the Govan frontman and the two could be in competition during the first Glasgow derby of 2023 at Ibrox on Monday afternoon.
Nicholas, speaking to the Daily Express, said of the Japanese raider: “Great movement and an eye for goal. I also like the fact he doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game.”
PARADISE…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his second strike in Celtic’s 4-1 victory over St Johnstone at Parkhead at the weekend.
Looking at the attributes of Colak, the former Celt said: “The Croatian striker has been Rangers’ best player and was one of their most consistent before his injury.
“Red-hot in front of goal, especially as he has had to survive off scraps.”
Along with Kyogo, Josip Juranovic, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Greg Taylor, Reo Hatate, Callum McGregor, Matt O’Riley and Filipe Jota represent Ange Postecoglou’s champions in Nicholas’ Eleven From Heaven.
Here’s what Nick had to say about the other Celts:
JURANOVIC: “I don’t know how long he will remain at Celtic but I’ve really enjoyed watching him play. Showed his class at the World Cup with Croatia.”
CARTER-VICKERS: “Steady, strong and dependable, he is still delivering every week. Looked as comfortable as any of Celtic’s players in the Champions League. “
TAYLOR: “The improvement in him is undeniable and he has made the left-back position his own.”
HATATE: “Great mobility and always shows for the ball. He has embraced Scottish football and become a big player for Celtic.”
CAPTAIN MARVEL…Callum McGregor celebrates Celtic’s title triumph after the 1-1 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice on May 11.
McGREGOR: “A model of consistency and high standards and always tries to do the right things.
O’RILEY: “Offers a creative spark and is really flourishing. Has improved greatly and can get even better.”
JOTA: “The player of the season so far. A huge talent, an entertainer and I love watching him.”
Loan Bhoy Scales gets a place alongside Carter-Vickers in central defence and Nicholas commented: “Has impressed me every time I’ve seen him.
“Aberdeen’s best defender and you can see why Jim Goodwin wants to turn his season-long loan from Celtic into a permanent switch.”
Ex-Celtic No.1 Craig Gordon, who suffered a double leg-break in Hearts’ 2-2 draw with Dundee United at the weekend, gets the nod ahead of Joe Hart.
The unfortunate Scotland international, who will be 40 in four days’ time and is now out for the rest of the campaign, was chosen for his outstanding form as Nicholas added: “Has never let his club or country down and makes so many crucial saves.
“Helped Hearts claim some big points. “