When Ange Postecoglou was given the Celtic job a matter of months ago, he knew the size of the task on his hands at Parkhead.
The Hoops witnessed a horrendous season in 2020/21, failing to win a single trophy as protests erupted and Neil Lennon was finally given the boot.
Out went the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Scott Brown, Ryan Christie and Kristoffer Ajer in a big upheaval of the playing staff.
There were more changes behind the scenes too with Dominic McKay replacing Peter Lawwell as CEO.
McKay and Postecoglou had an incredibly busy summer, bringing no fewer than 12 first-team players to Paradise.
Kyogo Furuhashi is the standout name from those to arrive, scoring seven goals in his first nine outings as a Celtic player.
Will Giakoumakis be a success at Celtic?
He arrived from the J-League where he is still their top scorer this term. It’s a league that the Bhoys’ manager knows well from his time with Yokohama F. Marinos.
Judging by the success he’s enjoyed with Kyogo, the manager has already admitted that he’d like to target the Japanese top-flight again in January. With the sheer number of gems clearly lying in that part of the world, it’s a cunning and shrewd plan.
One player they may look towards in the future is Kasper Junker. In fact, Celtic should have already brought him to Parkhead.
The Hoops needed a new striker this summer with Edouard eventually heading to Crystal Palace on deadline day and on top of Kyogo, they preferred Greek forward Giorgos Giakoumakis.
Guess the shirt numbers from Celtic’s famous 2002/03 UEFA Cup side. Let’s start with Mohammed Sylla…
Now, Junker was initially linked with Celtic back in the winter months when he was playing for Bodo/Glimt in Norway. His goalscoring antics – 27 strikes in 28 games – helped them to a remarkable league title win in 2019/20.
That form earned him a move to the J-League where Postecoglou has been able to gain an early sight of his quality. Junker hasn’t quite replicated his tally from Norway, but he’s still scored 13 goals in the 2021 season.
Eight of those strikes have come in the league where he sits behind Kyogo in the race for the golden boot.
With his Nordic heritage in mind, he’s already been compared to a certain Henrik Larsson on Football FanCast. Though, words from a Norwegian football expert summarise why Celtic should have signed him last winter.
Jonas Giæver told 67hailhail: “He’s a number 9, a fox in the box. I think he’s a lot more as well, he’s very technical, very good with his back to goal. He can set up his teammates and find space in the area. Bodø/Glimt have done it so perfectly, in terms of bringing numbers into the box. He always finds a patch of space and finishes first-time more often than not.
“If you’re looking for an out-and-out striker, who doesn’t need many chances to get a goal, then he’s your guy.”
Of course, Giakoumakis may well be a hit in Glasgow but if he’s not, Postecoglou should revive the club’s interest in Junker and head back to his beloved J-League for more mercurial strikers.
AND in other news, McKay may have just repeated one of Lawwell’s biggest Celtic blunders at Parkhead…
#Celtic #regret #missing #Kasper #Junker