Loanees Key In Atromitos’ Surge
The welcome surprise of the Greek Super League thus far has been Atromitos. Not only are Damir Canadi’s side undefeated after nine matches, the Peristeri club also lead atop the standings with 19 points, one more than PAOK, two more than AEK, and five more than Olympiacos, Panionios, and Levadiakos.
Several new signings over the summer have helped Atromitos to their marvelous start to the season. However, of particular importance have been the loanees Atromitos have brought to the club. A trio of PAOK players, an Olympiacos player plus one rejected player from the Piraeus club have been instrumental in Atromitos’ surge to the top of the Super League.
The three PAOK players include Amr Warda, Dimitris Chatziisaias, and Dimitris Giannoulis. Warda is a highly skillful star that seemed to be on his way out of PAOK in the summer with a move to Feirense in Portugal. However, that deal broke down after Warda was accused of sexual harassment toward the wives of a couple of those players and his move was nixed. Atromitos swooped in to sign a loan deal for the Egyptian attacker and it has proved to be a shrewd acquisition. Warda has two goals including a splendid free-kick that helped defeat Xanthi at the weekend. His attacking play overall has been superb and he is amongst the team leaders in chances created.
Dimitris Giannoulis is another PAOK player who has chipped in with some key performances. Giannoulis has played every game so far in the league this season, mostly as a left-back.
Next to Giannoulis has been central defender Dimitris Chatziisaias. The 25-year-old has been a real rock at the back for Atromitos. Always considered a talent, Chatziisaias finally has the run of matches he has been yearning for to prove his worth as a starting Super League center-back.
Chatziisaias’ partner at the back has been Olympiacos’ Spyros Risvanis. Signed by Olympiacos last season, Risvanis failed to make the grade in Piraeus over the summer as former manager Besnik Hasi was not convinced. But, Risvanis has been following up last year’s fantastic season with Panionios with another top-notch campaign with Atromitos. Olympiacos seemingly could have used some of the assured performances of the 6’5 23-year-old Risvanis this season.
Another Hasi cast-off, Andreas Gianniotis has also been a real cornerstone of the team’s success. The 24-year-old Serres-born goalkeeper was looking to fight for a place at Olympiacos this season after returning to the club from a positive loan spell with Panionios. Hasi again did not see it and Gianniotis left the club to sign a permanent deal with Atromitos. The rest is history.
It will be interesting viewing to see if Atromitos can keep up this pace deep into the season. Should they manage to then surely these five players will be playing significant roles in that feat.