NEW Bhoy Giorgos Giakoumakis has the ability to score at least 20 goals in his first season at Celtic.
That’s the positive verdict of former Hoops striking hero Pierre Van Hooijdonk who watched the livewire forward fire in 26 goals to complete last term as the Eredivisie’s top marksman.
Giakoumakis was the nation’s top hitman, but his fabulous goal haul could not save his side, VVV-Venlo, from losing their top-flight status.
Now Ange Postecoglou has given the attacker the opportunity to display his penalty box prowess at Parkhead following his £2.5million deadline-day arrival along with Spurs central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and Benfica winger Filipe Jota.
However, Van Hooijdonk, who was scouted by Davie Hay and signed by Tommy Burns for £1million from NAC Breda in 1995, has warned Celtic fans not to expect a direct replacement for Odsonne Edouard.
The towering raider, who scored the winner in the Scottish Cup Final against Airdrie only four months after joining up at Parkhead, has no doubts the 26-year-old Giakoumakis will be able to provide the goals Postecoglou will demand in a crucial debut campaign.
Van Hooijdonk, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “I think he’s capable of scoring 20-plus goals for Celtic this season.
“If you use him properly and play to his strengths, he’s going to get the club a lot of goals. The level of his finishing is top class. If you look at his goals, most of them are really good goals, with a real identity. They’re not all just about power.
“I can understand what he tries to do with his finishes, even when he misses chances.”
However, Van Hooijdonk, who claimed 44 goals in 69 league games before his £4.5million switch to Nottingham Forest in 1997, insisted the Greek is not a carbon copy of Edouard whose transfer saga finally came to a conclusion with a move to Crystal Palace that will eventually bring in £18.5million.
He added: “This boy is different, he’s more of a poacher. He’s more like Griffiths than Edouard.”