Olympiacos Swoop Up Belgian Duo On Deadline Day
Olympiacos confirmed the signing of two Belgian players to close out their business in the 2017 summer transfer window. Defender Bjorn Engels and goalkeeper Silvio Proto were late acquisitions made by the club in two areas identified by manager Besnik Hasi as needing reinforcements.
The snapping up of young talent Engels is the most noteworthy of the two moves. For €7.5 million, Olympiacos swiftly replaced the departing Panagiotis Retsos with one of the up-and-coming defensive players in Belgian football. The 22-year-old comes to Greece from Belgium, specifically Club Brugge, where he featured the last five seasons.
Engels may be young, but he has a wealth of experience, having already played in over 100 top-flight matches, either in the Belgian First Division or in the Champions’ League and Europa League. The 6’4 center-back was wanted by a whole host of continental clubs in recent transfer windows. Engels managed to win a league title and a cup during his spell in Brugge. In his time there, Engels also managed 12 goals and 7 assists.
Though many thought that Olympiacos’ work in the transfer window was done with Engels, it was not to be. That’s because the Piraeus club was also on the lookout for an experienced goalkeeper to add to the squad. And they found just that with the signing of the 34-year-old Belgian-Italian goalkeeper, Silvio Proto.
Proto began his playing career for La Louviere, where he played for six seasons before joining Anderlecht for 11 seasons. Since the move away from Anderlecht, Proto has also played for Germinal Beerschot and KV Oostende. Proto has been capped for Belgium on 13 occasions.
Proto has won three Belgian league championships and one Belgian Cup. The veteran shot-stopper has played in nearly 400 top-flight matches since his career began back in 1999. Amongst those, Proto has managed to feature in 71 European games showing he is no stranger to both the Champions’ League and Europa League.