Summer clear-out on the cards in Piraeus

Summer clear-out on the cards in Piraeus

More change is on its way to Piraeus. Having already swapped coach twice this season, Olympiacos are now prepared to offload a number of players when a disastrous 2017/2018 campaign reaches its completion.

Watch AEK continue their UEFA Europa League campaign in the Last 32 LIVE from when they host Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg on Thursday, February 15.     

Incredibly, Olympiacos actually entered 2018 as the Super League leaders, but a run of poor form and a heavy points deduction have threatened to end their title hopes. Olympiacos dropped a dramatic defeat to AEK Athens at the Karaiskakis Stadium, then losing to the same team in the Greek Cup quarter-finals and drawing 2:2 with Atromitos in Peristeri. As a result of the fan trouble in the home match against AEK, the Thrylos were recently deducted three points from the standings, leaving them trailing first placed PAOK by a large nine points.

With the dream of winning an eighth consecutive Super League championship practically extinguished, Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis is looking to revamp the roster in the summer. In the winter transfer window, players such as Emmanuel Emenike, Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez, Stefanos Kapino, Hrvoje Milic, Sasa Zdjecar and Ben all left Piraeus, but it seems that more will be making their departures in the near future.

Taking into account just how poor this season has turned out for Olympiacos, the board have decided that this current group of players are simply not good enough. It’s now expected that Olympiacos will have their biggest squad clear-out since 2010.

Experienced Spanish defender Alberto Botia’s time in Piraeus is surely running out. The 29-year old was blamed for AEK’s dramatic winning goal two weeks ago, and given that his contract expires in late June, Olympiacos are unlikely to offer him an extension. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, only signed last summer from Legia Warsaw, hasn’t lived up to expectations and could leave the club.

Another who failed to hit it off in Greece is Serbian forward Uros Djurdjevic. Despite boasting an impressive scoring record at Partizan Belgrade, Djurdjevic has endured a difficult time with Olympiacos, only registering four goals in 14 Super League appearances. He is at risk of being deemed surplus to requirements.

Omar Elabdellaoui, Felipe Pardo, Seba and Andre Martins are the others on the list of possible players who will be forced out of Olympiacos, as Marinakis aims to make a huge improvement next season. There are also rumours of dissatisfaction with the Greek players on the club’s roster, however names have not been specified.

Head coach Oscar Garcia has the remaining nine league matches to finally decide who is good enough to play with Olympiacos. While winning this year’s Super League is a tall order, at least Olympiacos do have time to make required changes ahead of the next campaign.

by Shaun Nicolaides
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