AGONA Profile: Gil Dias, the versatile, gifted Olympiacos winger
This winter, Olympiacos boosted their attacking options, signing AS Monaco winger Gil Dias for 18 months. AGONAsport analyses his career to date.
A JOURNEYMAN SINCE HIS YOUTH
At the start of his career, Dias spent time on the books of four separate clubs in his native Portugal, playing in the GD Gafanha (2004-2007), Sporting Lisbon (2007-2008), AD Sanjoanense (2009-2013) and SC Braga academies. In the end, he made his senior debut with Braga, twice playing for the B team in the 2014/2015 campaign.
However, Braga opted to sell him in 2015, as AS Monaco signed him for a reported five million euros.
POSITIVE SHOWINGS IN PORTUGUESE SECOND TIER
In the small principality, Dias had to be content with a place in the Monaco reserves, but after participating in several games with the B team in the first half of the 2015/2016 season, he returned home to Portugal in 2016 on a loan deal with Varzim.
Varzim, a small Portuguese club which was playing in the second tier, gave Dias a chance to display his capabilities. In the loan spell stretching six months, Dias managed to leave a strong impression, contributing with six goals and one assist in the Ledman Liga Pro. In the ensuing summer, Dias initially returned to Monaco, but he was then sent out on loan to Rio Ave.
SUCCESS AT RIO AVE
The 2016/2017 season at Rio Ave is without doubt his best so far. Having gained vital first team experience at Varzim, Dias was ready to take the step to the next level, starring with Rio Ave in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. Overall, he tallied six goals and six assists in the domestic league, often playing the full 90 minutes on the pitch as Rio Ave finished in seventh place with 49 points. Dias played a part in every single one of the 34 championship games.
MORE LOANS TO FIORENTINA AND NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Taking into account his success at Rio Ave, one could have expected Dias to receive a recall to the Monaco squad, but instead he was loaned to Serie A outfit Fiorentina. At the start of the season, the winger displayed signs of promise as he scored and gave out an assist in the opening four league matches, but after receiving an injury, his form gradually dipped. Dias finished the season with two goals and two assists, but Fiorentina weren’t impressed enough to sign him on a permanent basis.
Dias’ next destination was Nottingham Forest. In July 2018, the English Championship organisation loaned him from AS Monaco for the season, and Dias played in 24 games across all competitions and scored the one goal in the League Cup. Nevertheless, Nottingham Forest fans weren’t sad to see Dias go, as many supporters expressed their relief at seeing the Portuguese player taken off of their books by Olympiacos. In the comments seen on social media, the majority pointed out Dias’ visible talent, but they noted his lack of physicality while noticing that his style of game simply wasn’t suited to the high pace of the English game.
NEW CHALLENGE IN PIRAEUS
According to various reports, it was the personal request of Olympiacos head coach Pedro Martins to sign Dias. Martins understands the potential which 24-year-old Dias possesses, but considering the large squad which Olympiacos have, he will find it difficult holding down a regular place in the starting 11. Blessed with excellent technical ability, Dias is a tough prospect for opponents to deal with, but playing on the right wing, he has Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Giorgos Masouras for direct competition. To his advantage, Dias is also capable of either competing on the left flank or down the middle, and he is left footed.
On the international stage, Dias has represented the U18, U19, U20 and U21 Portuguese national teams, however he is yet to receive a call-up to the senior squad. Dias’ loan deal at Olympiacos runs until June 2020.