Donis’ Signing Plan for Panathinaikos
AGONAsport’s Nick Tsambouniaris explains Panathinaikos’ signing plan for this offseason.
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New Panathinaikos manager Giorgos Donis will have his work cut out for him to assemble his new-look Panathinaikos side, even more so with the well-documented transfer restriction coming into effect due to failing to obtain a licence to participate in this season’s Championship. In this transfer window, the Greens will only be allowed to sign one non-Greek player over 23.
Donis has indicated he wants 7 new signings in this transfer window. His first priority is securing a forward to boost the considerably weak attacking stocks at his disposal. Reports indicate this will be Panathinaikos’ biggest and best signing, and more than likely this will be the signing that occupies the aforementioned solitary non-Greek transfer spot. It will either come in the form of a free transfer or a loan with an option to buy.
In addition to this, Donis and Nikos Dabizas have turned their attentions to luring 3 young Greek attackers under 23 to boost the attacking options. One of these signings will be Argiris Kampetsis who plies his trade in the Borussia Dortmund Academy. It is believed he has already agreed to terms with the club.
Two young Greek centre backs under 23 will also be acquired to give support to the experienced Dimitris Kolovetsios and Vangelis Oikonomou. A left back will be brought in to provide cover for Emanuel Insua. By all accounts, Donis wants all of these signings to be completed by early August at the latest in order for the team to be ready for the upcoming season.
The Story of Sifneos
One of the aforementioned trio to join the Greens to boost the attacking options is set to be Mark Sifneos. The 22 year old striker is a product of Dutch football. He was born in Amsterdam, is of Greek descent and is eligible to represent the Ethniki, so falls in the category of players the club can sign.
He moved from his native Holland in August to join Indian club Kerala Blasters. This made him the youngest foreigner to be signed by any team in the Indian Premier League. In late January he left the club by mutual consent as he was in the plans of new manager David James, and a few days later he linked up with FC Goa until the end of the last season.
By all reports, Sifneos’ major attributes are being strong in the air and possessing a good technique with the ball at his feet. Another aspect which would have made Donis sit up and take notice, is his desire to get stuck in and do the hard work when his team is without the ball.
He can basically be considered as a Panathinaikos player, with only the contract needing to be signed, An agreement has been reached and he is expected to be in Athens on Saturday to sign. Following this, he will join his new teammates in their pre season training camp in the Netherlands.
Sifneos, along with Kampetsis will almost certainly represent Panathinaikos in the new season. The third of the trio of Greek attackers under 23 is still open but the frontrunner at this stage is Stefanos Regakos, who was linked with a move last month. However, his case is still up in the air and nowhere near as settled as that of Sifneos and Kampetsis.
Swedish Success Helps Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos is set to benefit considerably from Sweden’s heroics in obtaining a quarter final berth in Russia. FIFA stated that they will pay each player’s club 7,000 Euro for each day that player’s nation was still alive in the World Cup. This applies for players at their current clubs. On top of this, FIFA will pay the respective clubs 3,500 Euro in cases where a player represented them up until 2 years ago.
In this case, the Trifylli will receive a total of 238,000 Euro due to Oscar Hiljemark and Marcus Berg participating for a total of 34 days. The former turned out for the Greens last season and the latter represented the club up until last summer. They are both no longer at the club.
Every penny counts when the financial situation is as dire as the ones the Greens find themselves in.
Chouchoumis Moves to Serbia
Former Panathinaikos fullback Diamantis Chouchoumis has signed with Serbian club Vojvodina for the upcoming season. He spent last season plying his trade in Slovakia with Slovan Bratislava, where he won the Slovakian Cup. He is best remembered for his one and only goal against Kerkyra in the 2014-15 season, which was a brilliantly taken strike from distance.