09/05/2020 - 19:34

Kosmas Tsilianidis at the entrance of the Greek National Team!

John van ‘t Schip has OFI's winger in his list




AGONAsport takes a look at the players who would have been selected by John van ‘t Schip to represent Greece in the two friendlies against Costa Rica and Mexico, which were eventually cancelled.

In preparation for the UEFA Nations League, Greece were supposed to participate in two friendly matches against Costa Rica and Mexico on American territory in late March, but the games were subsequently cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. The Nations League, still due to begin in September, is also likely to be postponed to a later date. The Greeks were drawn into Group 3 of League C alongside Kosovo, Moldova, and Slovenia.

With a view to the future, Van ‘t Schip was preparing to select a somewhat experimental squad for the two games in the USA, once again leaving out the likes of Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. According to reports from Sport FM, the Dutch manager had decided to include Stratos Svarnas, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Tasos Chatzigiovanis, Kosmas Tsilianidis, Giorgos Kyriakopoulos, and Taxiarchis Fountas in his team for the friendlies in question.

Given the absence of Pantelis Hatzidiakos, who is sitting on the sidelines with a severe knee injury, Van ‘t Schip was ready to give Svarnas and Mavropanos an opportunity at senior international level. In Athens, Svarnas has enjoyed a solid campaign for AEK as he competed in 19 games across all competitions, while Mavropanos made a strong start to life at Nuremberg on loan from Arsenal.

Kyriakopoulos certainly deserves a chance to prove himself with the Ethniki Omada. Following his loan move to Sassuolo from Asteras Tripolis, the left-back has taken the step to the next level, impressing in Serie A with his energetic performances. Sassuolo are reportedly eager to make his transfer from Asteras permanent when the 2019/2020 season reaches its conclusion. The 24-year-old dished out three assists in 15 Serie A games.

Moving forward to the midfield, Van ‘t Schip wants to have more options for the wings, so he was hoping to see what Chatzigiovanis and Tsilianidis can add to the team. Now 22 years of age, Chatzigiovanis has long been catching the eye at Panathinaikos, standing out with his competent technical ability and direct approach. Chatzigiovanis tallied seven goals and three assists during the Super League regular season for the Prasini.

Tsilianidis, 25, has attracted the attention of the national team with his promising showings for OFI. In great form throughout the season, Tsilianidis scored six goals and made seven assists for the Cretans, helping the club famously qualify for the championship playoffs in fifth position of the table.

Taxiarchis Fountas, currently on the books of Rapid Vienna in Austria, last played for the senior national team in 2015. However, as a result of his excellent Bundesliga season with Rapid, the forward is once again set to be involved in the national team set-up. The 24-year-old struck 14 goals in just 19 league games with Rapid Vienna, getting his career firmly back on track in the process.

Furthermore, Germany-born Orestis Kiormourtzoglou, a defensive midfielder for Heracles in the Netherlands, recently revealed that Van ‘t Schip is planning to summon him to the Ethniki: “The Greek team is constantly relying on new players, and the coach told me that he would like to see me in the side. We are keeping in touch. The Bundesliga? I would love to play there.”

Kiomoutzoglou has participated in one match for the under 21 German national team. The promising 21-year-old transferred to Heracles from Unterhaching last summer.

It will be interesting to see which players earn the chance to compete for the senior national team when the Nations League does eventually start. Various reports have suggested that international football will only make its return in 2021.

credits: www.agonasport.com