IN JONATHAN Wilson’s excellent football tactics book Inverting the Pyramid there is discourse on what the footballer of the future could look like.

Heavily influenced by the teams of Pep Guardiola, Wilson muses whether in future a side could consist of 11 similarly attributed players with the emphasis on technical ability – think 11 David Silvas or Kevin De Bruynes.

The notion is that specialisms are redundant if you have a side packed with players all comfortable on the ball, capable of high technical ability. Who needs defenders if you always have the ball and can create chances from anywhere?

This is, of course, a theoretical discussion. It is partly inspired by Manchester City’s approach where the full-backs invert and are responsible for creative passing (sound familiar?) See Joao Cancelo as an example.

The squad has only one recognised striker (Gabriel Jesus) and attacking midfielders often play in the “9” position. It often appears Guardiola cannot get enough creative midfielders into his starting XI.

But even Guardiola’s side has 'lumps' like Ruben Dias and John Stones at the back (when he is not trying full-backs in that position, anyway).

As it happens, Guardiola and Ange Postecoglou are reportedly on very friendly terms. And there are echoes of how City perform in Celtic's play.

READ MORE: Is there a Celtic future for Christopher Jullien?

The inverted full-backs we have discussed. Additionally, their sides seek to overload the opponent in wide areas and there is an emphasis on low cut-backs into the central goal area as a means of attack.

Where Postecoglou’s team differs in style from City is in the striking department. The Celtic manager appears to want a striker to play within the width of the opposition box and not get too involved in the build-up.

Here are the number of possessions per 90 minutes for recent strikers including this season's batch:

Celtic Way:

The current trio have the fewest touches, all below 30 per match.

Nobody embodies that striking specialism as much as Giorgos Giakoumakis, who has the lowest involvement of all.

The recent cup win at Dundee United saw the Greek make it to nine goals in the equivalent of only 11.9 full 90 minutes.

His performance was typical given what we have seen so far, namely:

• he was involved in 14 challenges, only Carl Starfelt engaged more

• he completed only 17 passes at a rate of 68 per cent success

• he created no chances and provided only on 'packing' pass

• he scored two goals from six shots, all inside the box, and finished with xG of 1.4

The impression formed from this data matches the eye test.

Here is a player who, out of possession, is a warrior. He can be seen charging about the place crashing into opponents. On the rare occasion he receives the ball in open play, he can resemble a baby elephant trying to juggle a beach ball on a windy, er, beach.

But that finishing ability! His nine goals have all been one-touch. He bagged a perfect hat-trick (right foot, left foot, head) against Dundee. What is clumsy and awkward outside the box, becomes surgeon-precise within. Only four of his 39 shots have been outside the box. His xG of 9.5 is matched well with his nine goals so far – his form looks sustainable.

This apparent stylistic dichotomy is, as well as being endearing, highly effective in covering the loss of primary striker Furuhashi.

Indeed, if we look at Statsbomb, we can compare the two:

Celtic Way:

This shows that Giakoumakis is even more aggressive in opposition pressing but Furuhashi is more creative, perhaps the more rounded attacker.

That is not to say Giakoumakis is not effective - in the context of Scottish football at least.

Here is how he compares to other SPFL strikers:

Celtic Way:

He is in the top 10 per cent for shots, touches in the box, xG, xG per shot and pressure regains... and virtually bottom in assisting.

Postecoglou’s Celtic are a very different stylistic animal to both Rodgers' and Lennon’s models. He tolerates strikers with a limited remit, but they need to excel at some key skills – finishing in the box and pressuring the opposition defenders being primary among them.

READ MORE: How Postecoglou's Celtic stacks up against Rodgers and Lennon sides

In recent seasons Celtic supporters have become used to having the well balanced, almost perfect striker in Edouard. At his Hoops peak in 2019-20, Edouard’s data in European competition would have placed him in the 'elite' bracket within the Europa League players as both a striker and an attacking number 10.

Here is a comparison between peak Edouard and Giakoumakis: 

Celtic Way:

Edouard was a top five per cent player in dribbling, creating and scoring but notably eschewed the dirty stuff – regains, pressure, turnovers and the like.

Celtic now have a new breed of 'warrior striker'. Built to simultaneously have the instincts of a Yeoman foot soldier and the skills of a brain surgeon within the box. Ability to write poetry optional.

Giakoumakis is turning into an unexpected bonus in what could be an exceptional season.

Tagged by many as Celtic’s third-choice striker, he now has the highest xG of the three (0.8 per 90min) while simultaneously having the lowest overall Expected Scoring Contribution (xG + xA) with 0.81.

He is involved in 9.46 challenges per game – four more than Furuhashi and two more than the whirling dervish Daizen Maeda.

Giakoumakis may not be inverting any pyramids, but he is redefining the striker’s role at Celtic in a thrilling manner.