Young Greeks finding their feet in the Netherlands
The Dutch Eredivisie has always been a great breeding ground for producing talented footballers, and this continues today, even though the league is not at the level it once was. Ajax’s amazing UEFA Champions League run last season reinforces this. A series of young and up and coming Greeks have found their feet in the Netherlands after enjoying great seasons at their respective clubs.
Lazaros Lamprou (Fortuna Sittard)
The 21-year-old winger on loan from PAOK enjoyed a season to remember in the Netherlands at Fortuna Sittard. He made a total of 24 appearances across all competitions for the club and emerged as a key player as he was the main attacking threat. He scored seven goals and notched eights assists in the league. This led to interest from clubs in Portugal, Belgium, and the Netherlands, but he recently signed a new contract with PAOK as he eyes a spot in the first team.
Marios Vrousai (Willem II)
The 20-year-winger was not in Pedro Martins’ plans at Olympiacos, and as a result was loaned out to Willem II in January. He only spent half a season in the Eredivisie but announced himself in spectacular fashion. He scored on his debut for the club and never looked back. Despite joining halfway into the season, he scored four goals and notched five assists in 16 appearances. He will continue his growth in the Netherlands as his loan at Willem II expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Vangelis Pavlidis (Willem II)
The 20-year-old centre forward joined Willem II on a loan deal in January until the end of the season from VfL Bochum but performed so well in half a season, that he signed at the Dutch club permanently until 2022. Across all competitions, he scored five goals and notched four assists in his 17 appearances. He made a blistering start as he had two goals and three assists to his name after seven matches, and formed a good combination with Vrousai.
Pantelis Hatzidiakos (AZ Alkmaar)
The 22-year-old Greek-Dutch centre-back has been at AZ Alkmaar since 2015 after joining from Panathinaikos’ academy. Last season, he illustrated that he has what it takes to succeed at the top level as he was trusted to become a first team regular. He became the undisputed leader of the defence, playing on the right side in the centre-back pairing. Strong in the air and positionally, he played in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers at the start of last season, and scored one goal and notched one assist in the league.