Take or Trash – The 2018-19 Olympiacos Edition

Take or Trash – The 2018-19 Olympiacos Edition

AGONAsport’s Olympiacos contributor, Theo Bouras, looks at the 2018/19 Olympiacos roster and analyses why the club should ‘take or trash’ each respective players.

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We are in the midst of one of the most exciting times of the year. Teams that are fresh off accomplishments or disappointments are looking to add big marquee names to their roster; names that will make the difference and ultimately bring them to the next level. In order to sign new players, however, you must evaluate the players you have on your roster right now.

In Olympiacos’ case, the 2018-19 season certainly had a bittersweet feel. On one end, the team went another season without championship hardware – for the first time since the 1995 and 1996 seasons. On the other, the team showed stability and quality on the pitch. Olympiacos were the Super League’s most prolific team in the second round and team manager, Pedro Martins, hopes to ride that momentum into the next season.

As always, the board is looking to add some key pieces to the team, but the general consensus in Piraeus is that the team will work hard to keep its core. French international, Mathieu Valbuena, will be adding talent and experience to the squad and many other names are being linked with the 44-time Greek champions.

For now, let’s have a look at which current players belong on the 2019-20 edition of Olympiacos, and which deserve to be shown the door. The verdict is strictly based on the player’s performance on the pitch. Pape Abou Cisse and Leonardo Koutris are rumored to be receiving colossal offers that the club may not be able to refuse.

GOALKEEPERS

1. Lefteris Choutesiotis

The 24-year-old Greek keeper has been in the Olympiacos ranks since 2012. Coach Pedro Martins hasn’t shown him too much confidence as he requested a backup keeper this past January. Even so, Choutesiotis is still young in goalkeeper years and can get better.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

32. Yuri Lodygin

The Russian keeper who played for Skoda Xanthi has been trending downwards in the past two seasons. His 6-month loan proved to be futile and he was already sent back to Russia.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

93. Jose Sa

Olympiacos have found their netminder for almost the next decade. Sa was a blessing this season and his signing in early May was a must.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

DEFENDERS

14. Omar Elabdellaoui

The Norwegian right-back has been a part of Olympiacos since 2014. His biggest flaw is that he has shown signs of being injury-prone. When he’s fit and on the pitch, he is the best right-back in the Greek League.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

20. Yassine Meriah

At just 25 years old, Meriah has the physical traits to be a big-time center back. His first season in Piraeus had many positive signs and he is favorite to be 3rd in the team’s center-back depth chart.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

21. Kostas Tsimikas

With Leonardo Koutris’s future in Greece uncertain, Tsimikas might be relied upon to play a key role in the 2019-20 season. Tsimikas is only 22 and can be the team’s left defender of the future.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

23. Leonardo Koutris

Koutris’s name has been linked to different clubs in Europe. The left-back from Rhodes might be leaving Piraeus this summer if the price is right. If he does stay, he makes a formidable duo with Tsimikas for the position. If big money is sent Olympiacos’ way, they’ll have no choice but to part ways.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

25. Roderick Miranda

A journeyman center-back that can be replaced by a Greek name. Forgettable tenure in Piraeus.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

26. Jagos Vukovic

Vukovic is a passionate player who gives his all for the team. Olympiacos, however, seem like they want to turn the page and bring in two heavy names for the starting center-back spots. The Serb international might also benefit from a change of scenery. Tough call, but ultimately, him leaving might work out best for both parties.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

34. Avraam Papadopoulos

Papadopoulos’s second stint in Piraeus seemed to have more symbolic meaning than anything else. The 34-year-old center-back though will probably be pegged 4th or 5th on the team’s center-back depth chart. His passion for the club and his experience should benefit the younger players in the locker room. This summer, he’ll get a full pre-season workout and give his last hurrah in the summer of 2020.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

35. Vasilis Torosidis

Much like Papadopoulos, Torosidis knows the winning culture in Piraeus and always wanted to come back to the Erythrolefki. Last year, he showed he can still contribute on the pitch; his shining moment coming against AC Milan in that 3-1 victory.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

66. Pape Abou Cisse

The Senegalese center-back has gotten better with time. His physical attributes are hard to ignore, he’s quick, tall and very mobile. His decisions on the pitch are questionable at times, but that is to be expected from a 22 year old. It is rumored that big offers are coming his way this summer.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

MIDFIELDERS

4. Mady Camara

Camara was a revelation this past season. From July, he grabbed a starter’s spot and never really let go. He averages more kilometers than anybody on the team, and can release a heavy shot. Lots of eyes are on him, but another year with the Legend will do wonders for his career.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

5. Andreas Bouchalakis

It seems like every off-season, Andreas Bouchalakis is on the cusp on making Olympiacos. This past season, Bouchalakis showed that his left foot is often on point. His piercing passes often led to Olympiacos’ openings against tight defences. Bouchalakis isn’t a starter but definitely has a place on this team.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

6. Bibras Natkho

The 31-year-old crafty midfielder had a season of mixed results for Olympiacos. The Israeli international showed flashes of brilliance on the pitch but never really found his spot in the Starting XI.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

7. Kostas Fortounis

The team captain is the best player in Greece. Fortounis is the man that, barring any big offers, will be Olympiacos’ leader for years to come.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

8. Thanasis Androutsos

Androutsos has been on the squad since the 2016-17 season and people forget that he’s only 22 years old. He is a utility player who has been used as a striker, a left and right winger, an attacking midfielder, a defensive midfielder, a center midfielder, and most recently in a Greek Cup game, as a right back. He is useful player who hasn’t reached his full potential.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

11. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos

If you need to pin-point one thing that changed the locker room culture this past season, Christodoulopoulos might be it! The team seemed united from the get-go and his love for the club was evident the entire time. A true leader who can hopefully stay injury-free this upcoming season.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

12. Guilherme

Many have named Guilherme the MVP of this season and it’s hard to argue. The Brazilian midfielder has been a rock for the team and will continue to be so for many years.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

16. Giorgos Masouras

The Greek winger joined Piraeus in January and will make a case to be in the Starting XI this year.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

31. Gil Dias

Dias showed that he has talent but he is unable to put it all together. He is a skilled player but Olympiacos are looking ready to pursue other options.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

56. Daniel Podence

Whatever the 23-year old Portuguese winger lacks in size, he adds it with heart. Podence is a quality winger with good runs and excellent dribbling. His biggest knock is his crossing game and finishing can use some work. Ultimately, he is a player that Olympiacos will need to heavily rely on if they are to have a successful 2019-20 season.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

STRIKERS

9. Miguel Angel Guerrero

Guerrero is far from being a Starting XI player but his hard-work can’t be ignored. He constantly presses the opposing defence and he doesn’t stop working. He should be the 3rd striker in the team’s depth chart.

Verdict: KEEP HIM

18. Ahmed Hassan

The Egyptian striker seemed to get more comfortable as the season went on and ultimately began to score at a good pace. His 4 million euro price tag was declined by Olympiacos and he has already left the club.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

29. Franco Soldano

It’s hard to imagine what the Olympiacos scouts saw in Soldano in January. The Argentinian striker was practically non-existent during his first six months at the club and I am hard pressed to find a reason for him to stay.

Verdict: TRASH HIM

 

Image Source: to10.gr

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