Six talented, young Greeks abroad
The next generation of Greek players offers real hope to the country’s future in world football. In a special featured article, AGONAsport looks at six of Greece’s best young talents playing abroad in some of the world’s biggest footballing nations.
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While the majority haven’t managed to break into their respective senior teams on an regular basis, they do boast real potential to become the face of Greek football. From Pantelis Hatzidiakos to Konstantinos Mavropanos, we take a closer glance at young Greeks trying to make the most of their talent overseas.
Pantelis Hatzidiakos, defender, AZ Alkmaar, 18/01/1997
Born on the picturesque island of Rhodes to a Greek father and Dutch mother, the commanding central defender moved from Panathinaikos to AZ in 2011. Hatzidiakos impressed with AZ’s academy, helping the club’s under 16 and reserve teams win national championships before signing his first professional contract in 2015. During the 2017/2018 season, Hatzidiakos has become an indispensable figure in the heart of AZ’s defence. He’s a flexible player too, boasting the capability to play at right-back. Due to Hatzidiakos holding both Greek and Dutch citizenship, Ethniki Omada fans will be hoping that he chooses the country of his birth for future international duty.
Anargyros Kampetsis, forward, Borussia Dortmund, 06/05/1999
The 18-year old striker announced himself onto the European stage this campaign, scoring a fantastic hat-trick in a 5:0 victory against APOEL Nicosia in the UEFA Youth League. Kampetsis attracted attention from Borussia Dortmund after hitting 17 goals with the under 20 Olympiacos side last season, leaving the Piraeus club for around 300 thousand euros to play in the German fourth division with Dortmund’s reserves. Yes, Kampetsis is yet to score in nine appearances in the domestic league, but he possesses the potential to transform into a real goalscorer.
Giannis Sourdis, goalkeeper, Watford, 29/09/2001
Still only 16, Sourdis starred for Panathinaikos at a youth tournament back in 2016, catching the eye of Watford scouts present at the competition. Just three days later, Watford sent a request to Panathinaikos asking if Sourdis could travel to London for a trial with the club. In the end, Sourdis began training with Watford and after months of trying, the English team signed a contract with the talented goalkeeper in July 2017. Standing at 191 cm tall, Sourdis is now putting in fantastic performances with the under 18 Watford team.
Savvas Mourgos, midfielder, Norwich, 16/03/1998
Mourgos’ English journey began four years ago, when he transferred to London giants Arsenal from boyhood club Panionios. However, after a couple of seasons with Arsenal’s youth teams, the central midfielder opted to move to English Championship club Norwich. The British media have pointed Mourgos out as being technically gifted with excellent dribbling skills. He has competed in nine matches in the 2017/2018 Premier League 2 season with Norwich, registering four goals and one assist along the way.
Nikolaos Baxevanos, defender, Lazio, 16/07/1999
Currently a player in the Lazio system, centre-back Baxevanos started his career with hometown club Aris Thessaloniki. In 2016, Baxevanos was snapped up by Lazio for a reported 30 thousand euros. He plays every week for the Lazio youth team in the Primavera, even scoring three goals in 20 matches this campaign. Baxevanos is the proud owner of a five-year contract with the capital club.
Konstantinos Mavropanos, defender, Arsenal, 11/12/1997
In January, 20-year old Mavropanos made headlines all over Europe by signing for Arsenal from modest Super League club PAS Giannina. Mavropanos was initially supposed to be shifted out on loan for the remainder of the season, but manager Arsene Wenger changed his mind after seeing the Greek in training. The defender has played for the under 23 Arsenal team in the Premier League 2 on four occasions.