Transfers are always a hot topic of discussion among fans – mainly regarding who will be the next exciting signing for their club or whether rumours about a “popular player” are grounded. There are times when a transfer of a popular player can turn out to be worth all the trouble – who could forget the likes of Giovanni or Djibril Cisse? – and then there are those players who appear to think that they can simply get by based on their bio, without putting much effort in training – Sidney Govou is just one name that comes to mind. Then there are players that don’t get much attention initially, but eventually become fan favourites thanks to their dedication to the team – a good example of this would be recently-departed Aleksandar Prijovic. But, no matter the case, transfers will always be the salt and pepper of football, regardless of the championship or region we’re talking about. Here’s a small look at what happened in Greece during the winter period.
Table-leaders PAOK made a lot of headlines these last few months, as they may have lost main striker Prijovic, who chose the lucrative offer of Saudi-Arabian side Al-Ittihad, yet the Thessaloniki side did not stay twiddling their thumbs. They chose the youthful Karol Swiderski to replace the Serbian forward, while also adding Josip Misic from Sporting Lisbon, Sergio Oliveira from Porto and Sverir Ingasson from Rostov to their squad. Additionally, they ended Brazilian forward’s Pedro Henrique loan to Astana, while sending Amr Warda back to Atromitos. Razvan Lucescu now has a more than complete arsenal on the way to the team’s first title in over 30 years.
Olympiacos were also busy themselves, as Pedro Martins and the scouting team of the club tried to find a credible solution to the team’s scoring issue. It seems they have found it in the face of Argentinian striker Soldano, who signed with the club from Union Santa Fe. There were also some other corrective issues made to the team, as winger Gil Dias, goalkeeper Yuri Lodigin and defender Avraam Papadopoulos were brought in to replace some others who left the club. Most notable of those departures were the ones of Giannis Fetfatzidis, who transferred to Aris, Matias Nahuel, who was loaned out to Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna and members of the academy Dimitris Nikolaou and Mario Vroussai, who will continue their career abroad.
Champions AEK, who continue to face financial difficulties, only made one change to their roster with the signing of Serbian midfielder Nenad Krsticic from Red Star Belgrade. The 28-year-old was a member of the squad that managed to defeat Liverpool recently as the two teams clashed for the UEFA Champions League and already for the few games he has played for his new side he has proven to be indispensable. AEK also signed the son of their former glory Rafik Sabanadjovic, Anel, as more of a prospect for the future. Meanwhile, Erik Moran chose to continue his career in Spain at Malaga.
Panathinaikos completed the signing of Greek Australian Panos Armenakas, while Aris, apart from Fetfatzidis, also brought in Daniel Larsson from Belediyespor and Lindsay Rose from FC Lorient. Atromitos strengthened their defence with the arrival of Alexandros Katranis from Saint-Ettienne, as Panionios signed Olympiacos striker Giorgos Masouras. His former teammate in Piraeus, Dimitris Manos will hope to revitalise his career with a loan spell at Giannena, with the club losing both Mystakidis, who returned to PAOK and Kiuzik, who was loaned out to Dnipro. Asteras Tripolis will be looking to improve their situation on the ladder with the goals of experienced forward Christos Aravidis. Meanwhile, AEL changed a total of six players in their roster. Panetolikos brought in hopefuls Guga and Pedro Amaral from the Benfica academy, as Sebastian Erikssen was released from his contract with the club. Finally, Adam Tzanetopoulos departed Apollon Smyrnis in search for better luck at Lamia, who also completed the signings of Dani Bejarano from Oriente and Piti from AEL.