By Alan Hutton

19th Apr, 2022 | 5:00pm

Daizen Maeda among three Celtic stars slammed v Rangers as 'huge' claim issued - Hutton

Alan Hutton has insisted Georgios Giakoumakis was a “huge miss” for Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers.

The former Gers defender and Rangers TV pundit, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, blasted the performance of the Hoops’ front three at Hampden Park.

Daizen Maeda, 24, led the line for the Bhoys, with Jota and Liel Abada supporting him on either wing.

Giakoumakis, who has been in fine form, missed the derby clash due to a hamstring injury.

Hutton insisted the Bhoys missed the Greece international’s imposing presence up top.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I thought the front three were poor. I don’t think they gave the same as they have done in previous games. In the St Johnstone game, they were unstoppable.

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“I know they’re coming up against a better team but the front three were very quiet. Giakoumakis was a huge miss.

“I think if he was playing, it would have been a bigger problem. Maeda, all his running, it’s brilliant. His closing down, carrying and chasing, is excellent but he’s never going to get you out a tough position.

“He’s not going to hold the ball up on his chest, occupy centre-halves or give Goldson or Bassey a problem. It was always just going to be him running behind.

“Because Rogic couldn’t get himself on the ball and make things happen, Maeda’s runs didn’t matter. Giakoumakis gives you something different. I thought he was a huge miss.”

Giakoumakis, 27, has scored 13 goals in 24 appearances this season.

Maeda has netted seven times in 17 games for the Bhoys since his January move.

In other news, ex-Fifa official claims Celtic star should be banned as controversial footage assessed.