Profile: Who is Kerala Blasters’ latest signing Apostolos Giannou
(Courtesy : Sportstar - The Hindu/myfootball.com.au)
The forward has played at the highest level for Australia and Greece national teams.
Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters FC have acquired the services of Greek-Australian striker Apostolos Giannou ahead of the upcoming edition of the league. The 32-year-old player is Kerala Blasters FC’s first foreign signing this summer and will don the yellow jersey during the Indian Super League 2022/2023 season.
Giannou is an excellent addition to the Tuskers’ attacking unit. Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic will look to use Apostolos Giannou as one of his strikers in the 4-2-2 formation, if and when he starts. With Jorge Pereyra Diaz likely to return, Giannou could have to play from the bench.
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Apostolos Giannou comes into a squad that was among the most entertaining teams last year and played in the ISL final. Kerala Blasters scored the fifth-most goals last season with their front four firing on all cylinders. So Giannou will want to arrive with his scoring boots on and make most of the chances he gets to impress coach Vukomanovic and push for a start.
Giannou will play his 15th season in professional football when he represents Kerala Blasters in the 2022-23 ISL season. He has spells across many clubs in Greece and has played in Australia, China, and Cyprus. Across his career, he has played around 338 matches and has scored 65 goals to date.
The 32-year-old started his youth career with the Australian club Oakleigh Cannons in 2003. He had short stints with South Melbourne and VIS during his youth career. Eventually, he kicked off his senior career with Oakleigh Cannons in 2007 and scored one goal in seven appearances. He then represented various clubs across Greece.
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Apostolos Giannou represented the Greek club PAOK FC and Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou R&F between 2011-2013 and 2016-2018, respectively. He last represented Macarthur FC in 2022 and scored three goals in 20 matches for the club before signing a deal with Kerala Blasters FC. The latter side will be his 12th overall club since making his debut in 2007.
The Greek-born footballer played one friendly match for the Greece national football team. He then played 12 matches for the Australian national team, scoring twice. He has also represented the youth teams of both clubs.
Type of player
Apostolos Giannou plays as a center-forward. Ivan Vukomanović is known to play with the 4-2-2 formation. Giannou is likely to be the third-choice striker at Kerala Blasters, with Jorge Pereyra closer to returning and the club also hunting for Alvaro Vazquez's replacement.
He fits well into the system and has experience by his side. A goal or two and match-winning performances in the opening few matches could change the manager's perception and afford him a place in the starting XI. With the likes of Sahal Abdul Samad, Adrian Luna, Prasanth K and Jeakson Singh in midfield, goalscoring chances would come in plenty for the Australian, who would hope to live up to expectations.
The 32-year-old could also prove to be a set-piece specialist for the Kerala-based franchise in the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League.
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What does he bring to the team?
Kerala Blasters FC sporting director Karolis Skinkys confirmed Apostolos was the club’s target for the last couple of years. He said, “I’m very happy Apostolos finally joined Kerala Blasters, he was our target for the last two years. This reflects the value he brings to the club. It also highlights the interest the management had in the player.
The 32-year-old is Kerala Blasters FC’s first foreign signing and carries ample experience on his back. He is a perfect addition to the team as he fits in KBFC’s style of play. Moreover, Apostolos Giannou’s rich experience of playing across four countries can play a key role in guiding the young footballers in the squad. Kerala Blasters FC will be banking on Giannou to help them lift their maiden ISL trophy.
“I’m really excited to be signing for Kerala Blasters. I will put my all for the team to achieve the goals it has for this year.” said a happy Giannou upon signing with his new club.
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