Asteras busy in transfer window with Europa League approaching
With the UEFA Europa League approaching in late July, Asteras Tripolis are busy in the transfer market, shaping their squad ahead of an important season. AGONAsport takes a closer look.
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Following a poor start to the 2017/2018 Super League, Asteras Tripolis came roaring back to rob Xanthi of a Europa League berth, finishing in an impressive fifth position of the standings. Despite having limited resources at hand, 53-year old boss Savvas Pantelidis managed to squeeze the best out of his committed players, often making life difficult for the so-called big guns, especially when hosting matches in Tripoli.
Aiming to build on last season’s success, the Tripoli outfit are one of the most active Greek clubs on the transfer scene. We’re only in mid-June, but Asteras have already pulled off a large five signings since the summer window opened: Nikos Papadopoulos (goalkeeper), Martin Rolle (midfielder), Marc Fernandez (midfielder), Valentinos Vlachos (defender) and Jose Luis Valiente (midfielder). Interestingly, Argentinian pair Lucas Salas (midfielder) and Lucas Diarte (defender) are also expected to sign as free agents, although Asteras are yet to confirm the deals.
Asteras’ determined attitude this summer is largely down to the early start, with the club beginning their Europa League journey in the second qualifying stage which is due to take place on July 26 and August 2. If Asteras are to make it to the group, they have to pass through three preliminary phases, and taking into account the Super League starting up on August 25, manager Pantelidis is eager to add as much depth to his squad as possible.
At the moment, Pantelidis is eyeing up further options, in particular singling out centre-backs Bruno Perone of Real Zaragoza and Mouscron’s Teddy Mezague. Asteras do already have Triantafyllos Pasalidis and Konstantinos Triantafyllopoulos as the main central defensive partnership, but in case any injuries are received, back-up is certainly required. Moving forward, Rolle and Salsa will offer alternative options to Juan Munafo, the 30-year old Argentina national who is Asteras’ main attacking threat. Greek international Michalis Manias will continue to lead the line after picking up an excellent return of 12 goals from the previous Super League season.
Let’s take a glance at Asteras’ potential roster for the 2018/2019 campaign:
Bruno Perone/Teddy Mezague
Jose Luis Valiente