Mitroglou on fire for Marseille in France after slow start
Greek hitman Kostas Mitroglou endured a miserable start to life with Marseille, but after recovering from an injury, the striker has transformed into a key player for the French outfit. AGONAsport investigates further.
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When signing from Benfica last summer, where he scored an impressive 36 goals in 60 league appearances, Mitroglou arrived in France with high expectations. Having been purchased for a large 15 million euros, the Greek forward was handed the task of becoming Marseille’s target man up front, but things didn’t get off to a great start. Carrying an injury, Mitroglou was forced to wait for his Marseille debut until September 28, participating in a UEFA Europa League match against Salzburg.
Mitroglou got off the mark in Ligue 1 with a goal against Strasbourg in October, but the Kavala native failed to build up any momentum. Disappointing performances coupled with an inability to hit the jackpot began to make fans question Mitroglou’s transfer, as rumours suggested Marseille were already searching for options to offload the 30-year old.
Nevertheless, a motivated Mitroglou was focused on proving his doubters wrong. Following a poor 2017 with Marseille, the striker suddenly burst into life in 2018, beginning the year with a goal against Metz in Ligue 1 and a fantastic hat-trick in the French Cup. Since then, Mitroglou has bagged himself a further five league goals, despite receiving another injury which left him on the sidelines in late February and early March.
Full of confidence, Mitroglou is showing why he was so prolific for Olympiacos and Benfica. Often hitting the headlines of French football newspapers, he’s earned the trust of the Marseille board, practically guaranteeing a place on the roster for the 2018/2019 season. Boasting a proud statistic of scoring at least ten league goals in five consecutive campaigns, Mitroglou only requires two more Ligue 1 markers to reach double figures for their sixth year in a row.
Mitroglou is visibly enjoying his football again, playing with real enthusiasm and much calmer when speaking to the press. After scoring twice against Lille in a thumping 5:1 victory, Mitroglou gave a short interview to the media, thanking his teammates for their help in assisting him to find his scoring boots again, but noting the importance of winning a trophy at the end of the season. Marseille are set to qualify for an historic UEFA Europa League final, beating Salzburg 2:0 in the semi-final first leg.
Just to signify Mitroglou’s turnaround of fortunes in France, the striker was voted Marseille’s player of the month in March, winning 31% of the fans’ votes ahead of Dimitri Payet with 29%. If Mitroglou continues firing on all cylinders, he could soon become Marseille’s prize possession.