There were goals this season which I said only Georgios Giakoumakis would score. They were big goals. They were important goals. To get them, we needed a natural born finisher. That’s what he provided us. If he goes this week – and all the signs are that he will – what exactly are we getting to replace him? A better footballer I think … but is that enough?
Giakoumakis did one thing exceptionally well; he put the ball in the net. Or, at least he did for us and for his former club in Holland. But how do you get to 26 without leaving a trail of goals behind you? Giakoumakis somehow managed it. We all saw what we had here, but there were elements to his game that were distinctly one dimensional.
This is why we’re not getting a bigger transfer fee for him. Let’s be blunt; most sides out there don’t think he’s worth paying more for. That’s why his offers haven’t come from clubs in the Big Five leagues. Juranovic at least had that sort of interest.
We’re getting a much younger player at an entirely different point on the career ladder. I can tell just by watching clips of him that we’re getting a better technical footballer, and someone who will work hard. You want to know something else? This kid is 6’1 and spent 2021 playing wide right for the South Korean army team. You know what that means?
It means that he’s as hard as nails. It means that he’ll be super fit. It means that he’ll be able to run all day. That’s the other side of this; Giakoumakis sometimes looks as if he would break if you dropped a pound coin on him. For a big physically impressive guy my old man was right to say that he’s made of glass. He gets injured very easily.
I am not happy to see Giakoumakis go. But that his nose is out of joint because he isn’t starting every week is bad. That he’s not mentally in the right headspace to play at the moment is bad. That he took his frustrations out on Instagram is weak and its bad and that we’re getting such a low fee for him and that none of the big leagues are sniffing is bad.
And it’s telling. Because if this guy is as good as he thinks he is – and you have to think you’re very good to be starting every week ahead of Kyogo – he’d have nothing to worry about. But here’s my question, in relation to where he’s headed.
If he was playing in Japan right now and had been for the last two years, if he’d moved there straight from Holland, and we were looking at him with his career profile, his age and his 8 goals this season in 27 games, would we move for him or would we take a pass?
The Korean kid scored 14 goals last season, in his breakthrough campaign, fresh out of the army. Had it not been for Son Heung-min getting fit enough for the World Cup, it’s acknowledged that this lad would have been in the team … so maybe it’s our good fortune than the Spurs boy made it, because then maybe we wouldn’t have got near this guy at all.
I am excited. I am excited because Ange is clearly excited. I’m excited because this is an untapped market for us, but one that has produced a lot of top footballers for European clubs. I think we’re going to enjoy the rest of this campaign. I think by this time next year this guy will be a bigger player for this club than the Greek was.
And I write that as a genuine fan of Georgios Giakoumakis.