Olympiacos Outsiders Gain Big Points in Preseason
Olympiacos’ new recruits have enjoyed a strong start to preseason, specifically the lower profile names that have been brought into the squad.
Olympiacos have undoubtedly been one of the most active Greek teams in the transfer market this summer. Thus far, the Piraeus side have brought in eleven new players as they aim to reclaim the Greek Super League title and attempt to qualify for the Champions League.
Manager Pedro Martins gave the okay to release just four players as he kept the bulk of last year’s team together. The new additions to the team have been headlined with the arrival of Portuguese center-back Ruben Semedo and French veteran attacker Mathieu Valbuena.
It has been the lesser known names brought in however who have made something of a splash in the first half of preseason. Of these, two have really come to the fore. Serbian winger Lazar Randelovic has impressed in Olympiacos’ preparations for the new season in Poland and Austria. The 21-year-old was actually signed last summer, but sent back on loan to Radnicki Nis, where he enjoyed a solid campaign.
Another under-the-radar signing has also stolen the show and seemingly convinced Martins to have him play a role in this year’s side. Brazilian midfielder Bruno may have arrived in Piraeus with little fanfare after his move from Atromitos. After more than a month of preseason though, the midfielder’s assured displays in friendlies thus far suggests he will not only make the side, but also be vying for minutes in a congested midfield and forward line.
Greek international Fiorin Durmishaj has bagged a couple of goals in friendlies and looks to be in good form. Durmishaj is primed to feature in the early stages of the season, specifically this summer’s European matches as Youssef Al-Arabi needs time to gain fitness. Ousseynou Ba and Svezotar Markovic are two defenders who have also shown glimpses of real potential. Their performances have done their chances of trying to nail down a roster spot no harm.
All in all, Martins seems as though he will have a real headache as he attempts to make decisions not only on squad selection for the upcoming Champions League qualifiers versus Viktoria Plzen, but also final choices on which players will stay on the roster and who will be loaned out or moved on otherwise. It’s a headache that the Portuguese boss will be happy to have however as the Erythrolefki squad seems to be as deep as it has been for a number of years. So deep in fact that the serious injury to Kostas Fortounis does not appear to have sent the club into panic mode. The overriding belief is that there is enough quality in the team to help cover the absence of the Fourtounis, Olympiacos’ undisputed star player.