Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Panathinaikos Centre-Forward Opens Up On His Future Amid Celtic Links: What Should The Hoops Do?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a recent interview with Sport 24 (as quoted by the Daily Record) is believedto be true, rumoured Celtic target Fotis Ioannidis has opened up on his future. The Panathinaikos star is currently concentrating on the Super League silverware. But he has kept the doors open for a potential summer transfer.

“I am not thinking about the future. First, let the season end and then we will look at what’s next. It goes without saying that I can offer even more. I know it, as well as my teammates. It’s only a matter of time before I start improving and playing at an even higher level.”

The 23-year-old attacking ace progressed through the academy ranks of Olympiacos Chalkid and Levadiakos before breaking into the latter’s senior side as a teenager. Panathinaikos secured his services back in August 2020 and the youngster has proved his worth despite featuring as a substitute on most occasions.

So far he has scored 5 goals and laid on 4 more in 33 games across competitions. But his presence high up the pitch earned him a more regular role following the World Cup break. Ioannidis represented Greece at the youth level, but his emergence of late earned him a senior status in September 2022.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou against Hearts
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MARCH 08: Angelos Postecoglou, Manager of Celtic, looks on prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park on March 08, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Although he is yet to find the net in 4 appearances, the upcoming European qualifiers with Gibraltar and Lithuania could see the in-form forward scoring his maiden goal for the Pirate Ship. He scored a brace against league opponents Atromitos Athen a couple of weeks back and his addition upfront could bolster the Bhoys with depth as well as quality while spearheading the attack.

Why Celtic Must Consider A Summer Swoop

Ange Postecoglou explored the winter market and tied down Hyeongyu Oh as Giorgos Giakoumakis’ alternative. The latter left for MLS side Atlanta United after failing to reach an agreement with Celtic over a new deal and his compatriot Ioannidis might prove to be a value-for-money signing with just over a year left in his Panathinaikos contract.

The Hoops are blessed to have Kyogo Furuhashi who has been majestic all season as a ‘number 9’. His movements, sharp runs, pace and poaching traits are of immeasurable worth in Postecoglou’s free-flowing football, however, the gaffer is also sharpening his Plan B by roping in more traditional striking options.

Oh broke the defensive resilience of ten-man Hibernian in the previous game depicting his directness in front of the goal. Ioannidis is likely to offer a similar threat, yet the Aussie boss should sanction a move for the Greek prospect with a view to achieving a better European run in the next campaign.

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