LONDON, Jan 29 (London) - Celtic have signed Greek striker
Georgios Samaras on loan from English Premier League Manchester City until the
end of the season, the Scottish champions said on their Web site (www.celticfc.net).
they had the option of making the deal permanent for the 22-year-old, who has
won 12 international caps. He scored eight goals in 55 league appearances for
So Samaras becomes the second member of our forward line to depart on loan this transfer window, and it is likely that short-term loan moves may well be a feature from now on during January windows, given the short timeframe does not always give too much room for manouevre to hammer out a permanent deal and does give the opportunity almost for a trial period for clubs to assess how a player fits into their side between then and the end of the season.
Like Bianchi, the Samaras move can be made permanent and if indeed it does do, it will bring an end to the career of a player who never really impressed or won over the fans. In his defence, he arrived as a young striker with more promise than polished talent and was very much a work in progress - something we couldn't really afford given our plight over the last season or so.
With the takeover of the club and emergence of some of the younger players, it has made Samaras surplus to requirements and was another player that Sven never took a shine towards and although had a couple of fleeting appearances, hardly seized the opportunity handed to him this season and of course may well have departed the club earlier if the deal with Birmingham had gone through.
Undoubtedly Samaras does have talent, and it may well be that he does go on to prove himself at Celtic or elsewhere, but the fact is that when he arrived at the club he perhaps needed more time to ease into the Premiership than he was afforded, and givent he lack of funds available to Stuart Pearce during his time as manager, the signing will go down as an expensive mistake made.
As for Celtic, a surprising move perhaps, but Gordon Strachan has taken on loan signings previously as short-term squad depth as they hit the second half of the season and in the SPL, Samaras may well fare for better than he managed in the Premier League - and at the very least will put himself in the shop window for a move during the summer if things do not work out at Celtic Park.