Lille sign potential new Belgian star Dorian Klonaridis

Today Lille OSC announced their second signing of the summer, and after the €10 million paid for Marvin Martin the latest move seems something of a bargain. Viktor Klonaridis from AEK Athens has signed for a fee of around €800,000. We spoke to Greek football expert Kostas Xydias about the Belgian born winger who Rudi Garcia was very keen in adding to his playing squad as Lille try to strengthen their attacking options for the upcoming season.

“He is a young and quick player who has a lot of potential. You know that when you buy a player with potential but with limited experience you can either buy a “Kyriakos Papadopoulos” (from Olympiakos to Schalke for 2m euros and now his price is over 8m) or end up with a “Diogo” (from Portuguesa to Olympiakos for 7m and now his value is no more than 1m).”

With Eden Hazard gone Lille will need to bring in some more attacking talent to fill that gap and Klonaridis could be an excellent find. And for the player himself a move to Ligue 1 could be perfect for all involved.

“This kind of player needs to play in a team and a league where the result is not the only issue. In Greece the Championship is everything (as the winner takes the 25m euros of Champions League) in that environment younger players can’t play immediately and they are not given many chances to flourish.

I think Ligue 1 and Lille can be a very suitable destination for him, as he can develop his skills and improve technically and mentally as a player. He feels more Belgian than Greek and he will adapt easier to life in northern France.”

So what sort of player will Lille be buying and what can he bring to the Lille side this season?

“Klonaridis likes to run and doesn’t hesitate to take on his man in a one on one situation, but he must improve his movement without the ball and his positioning when his team are not in possession.

In a way he reminds me of former AEK and Newcastle player Temur Ketsbaia. Ketsbaia was better technically and a better passer but Klonaridis is much quicker and electric over the first 10 metres.

He is a hard worker, sometimes taking part in extra training sessions. He also has a good character and is a very religious man, that’s why he wears number 77 (2 7s) to be his number as 7 is a number of God.”

It seems that Lille are picking up somewhat of a bargain. AEK are in a difficult financial situation and need to raise cash fast or they could face relegation. Selling Klonaridis would raise at least 60% of the funds they need to survive; they will also demand at least 10% of any sell on fee, which is only smart for a 20-year old player with obvious potential.

He scored four goals last season and significantly two of those goals came against rivals Panathinaikos, in the regular season and in the playoffs.

This was the second goal as AEK beat Panathinaikos 2-0 in the league. (0:55)


And here he is scoring the second in a 2-0 win over Panathinaikos in the play-offs (3:00)

For someone so young to perform in the big games it looks like Rudi Garcia has picked out a possible star. No one wants to label him as a replacement for Hazard but he plays on the left, loves to take players on, and was born in Belgium. If he becomes half as good for Les Dogues they will have found one of the signings of the season.

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