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Not the time to get weaker- Sutton puts his trust in Ange as massive decision looms

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Chris Sutton is convinced that Giorgos Giakoumakis will only leave Celtic if Ange Postecoglou has a better striker lined up.

For the best part of three seasons Odsonne Edouard was virtually Celtic’s only striker but the Australian took charge of the hoops knowing that the former PSG striker wanted to leave and was in the final season of his contract.

Postecoglou had two replacements in mind, they cost less than half the fee picked up from Crystal Palace, filled the goals void and more and returned the SPFL title to Celtic Park.

There are a few similarities and differences in the Giakoumakis situation as things stand, the striker is on a lengthy contract with Kyogo Furuhashi equally as capable of finding the net.

Away to St Johnstone Giakoumakis buried the 93rd minute chance that came his way, when Kyogo was injured in the opening minutes of the Glasgow derby a ready made replacement came off the bench to help put the hoops 3-0 in front by half-time.

There are no guarantees in the transfer market but with an impressive strike rate Sutton trusts the system with Postecoglou in control.

In the Daily Record he writes:

The campaign resumes in a fortnight and it should not be forgotten that we are not even at the halfway stage of the Premiership title race yet. Sure, Celtic have a big lead and it is going to be awfully difficult for Rangers and their new manager Michael Beale to pull back the nine-point gap.

But this is not a time for my old club to get weaker. I’m fully aware of the chat from Postecoglou about the way he is going to evolve the squad. When he said at the club’s AGM that fans should not get too close to their heroes because regular movement in and out of the door would be a natural progression for them if they want to improve and get better in the Champions League, that was a signal to many, myself included, that individuals would be moving on in January and replaced.

We know that Japanese defender Yuki Kobayashi is already going to be in the building. We know that Canada right-back Alistair Johnston also looks likely to be there when the window opens. Presumably, that opens an avenue for Josip Juranovic to go at a good profit following his World Cup exploits with Croatia.

Anthony Ralston’s excellent form would cover the departure of Juranovic and give Johnston, much like Greg Taylor’s form did for Alexandro Bernabei, the chance to settle into the club and not be rushed into the line-up immediately.

With that in mind, Celtic fans have to believe that Postecoglou is well down the track with a striker and has an upgrade in the pipeline if Giakoumakis is going to be exiting the club.

Look, I’m not privy to the inner goings-on inside the dressing room or the boardroom. I don’t know what is happening with a new contract or anything like that or if something has changed in the background to make it so that the Greek is available for purchase.

But I do know that Postecoglou is a smart individual and he’s not just going to let one of his main attacking weapons walk out of the door unless he has got an ace up his sleeve and a plan already in place and down the line.

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