Olympiacos See Mixed Results From Summer Signings
Halfway through the 2017/18 season and the early results are in with respect to the impact of summer transfer signings. Olympiacos have had mixed outcomes on the new players that have come in. Some players who were purchased of preferred by former manager Besnik Hasi have either been demoted in preference or persevered.
The likes of Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Silvio Proto, and Leonardo Koutris have all been instant hits in Piraeus. The jury is still out on a number of players who have blown hot and cold or have been dealing with injuries. This includes players such as Bjorn Engels, Pape Abou Cisse, Guillaume Gillet,Panagiotis Tachtsidis and Uros Djurdjevic. Another group of players have failed to shine in their new surroundings such as Emmanuel Emenike, Mehdi Carcela, Hrvoje Milic, and Jagos Vuckovic with most of them likely on their way out in the January transfer window.
Below is a player-by-player breakdown of how Olympiacos’ newest acquisitions have fared thus far.
THE INSTANT HITS
Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe: Has shown a versatility to do more than just boss the midfield. However, it is his ability in the center of the park that has caught the eye. Ofoe can score, find a key pass, make the tackles and set the tone in the midfield. The burglary of his home last month has caused problems with regard to his wanting to leave Greece. What happens remains to be seen, but Olympiacos will certainly want to keep the Belgian based on his early contributions.
Silvio Proto: Was picked up as an experienced goalkeeper who could help Stefanos Kapino further develop. The loss of form of the latter and his eventual transfer listing has seen the Belgian Proto become the club’s undisputed number one. He has been the pair of steady hands needed as Olympiacos negotiated a difficult start to the season.
Leonardo Koutris: Has owned the left-back position this season for the club. That is a combination of his own positive displays as well as the lack of competition for that place in the starting eleven. Olympiacos are on the look for a left-back in January, but Koutris’ starting spot is not under threat at the moment. A player who looks to have a bright future ahead of him in Piraeus.
THE QUESTION MARKS
Bjorn Engels: Some injuries and squad rotation have limited the Belgian’s opportunities. When Engels has had a run in the team he has performed adequately, some highs and some lows. His eventual impact will probably be judged later, but thus far he has not quite justified his €7 million transfer
Uros Djurdjevic: The Serbian striker has shown glimpses of an ability to find the net, but thus far is lacking in consistency. In his defense, he hasn’t had a real run in the side, mostly appearing in substitute cameos with the odd start here and there. 4 goals in 15 appearances is not a terrible return considering his game-time, but Olympiacos are expecting more from the former Partizan attacker.
Pape Abou Cisse: The Senegalese defender has proven to be a dynamic defender who has good traits such as power and aerial prowess both at the back and in attack. Cisse is prone to the occasional mistake, but overall he looks to be one for the future and is already receiving lots of playing time this season.
Guillaume Gillet: His experience has been helpful in the league and in Europe, but his chances have been limited since Tachtsidis came back from his injury. Should see the season out as he helps with squad depth, but it’s likely he will be moved on at the end of the campaign.
Panagiotis Tachtsidis: Injury kept him out for a couple months, but since coming back he is steadily finding form. Lemonis prefers him to Gillet and others in midfield due to passing range and the truth is that Tachtsidis has been ever-present in the club’s recent winning run.
THE REAL MISSES
Mehdi Carcela: Technically, Carcela is an accomplished player, but he has been unable to show his worth at Olympiacos. His game has lacked an end product while in Greece and Lemonis has had little faith in the Moroccan. The club have announced he will be on his way out in January.
Emmanuel Emenike: The Nigerian has been unlucky with a spate of niggling injuries. That said, Emenike has been woeful when on the pitch. It’s a piece of transfer business that Olympiacos look keen on forgetting at this point.
Jagos Vuckovic: Was signed as the future rock in the Olympiacos backline, but Vuckovic has disappointed. Unable to acclimatise in Greece, he is sure to be gone come the winter transfer window on a loan deal.
Hrvoje Milic: Has barely featured and on such little evidence it’s tough to judge Milic’s abilities. He is certain to leave in January and the Croatian will be seeking a fresh start elsewhere.