Ex-Norwich City Defender Courting European Interest

Recently released former Norwich City left-back Dimitris Giannoulis is attracting interest from clubs in Germany and his native Greece, according to Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg on X.

Bundesliga side Augsburg and Greek outfits AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and Olympiakos are said to be keen on Giannoulis after he left Carrow Road at the expiry of his contract last month. The player is said to be ‘open’ to a move to Germany with Augsburg, who finished 11th in the Bundesliga last year, but the three Greek sides are looking to hijack the deal and lure Giannoulis back to his homeland.

The 28-year-old exits the club after they chose not to renew his contract after a season where Norwich finished 6th in the Championship, losing out to Leeds United in the play-off semi-final.

Giannoulis, who has 27 caps for his country at senior level, joined Norwich in 2021 after a successful loan the previous season, and went on to play 103 times for the club across the top two divisions. Prior to his move to England, the left-back had spent his entire career in Greece except for a short loan spell at Anorthosis in Cyprus. He came through at Vataniakos in the Greek second division and went on loan several times, before a move to the top-flight with PAOK where he spent five years, again with several stints away from the club before his big move.

The Greek joins Ben Gibson, Danny Batth, Sam McCallum and Jon McCracken in departing Norfolk in something of an exodus this summer, with the Canaries looking fairly light at the back going into the 2024-25 campaign. New boss Johannes Hoff Thorup will be looking to the transfer market to replace the likes of Giannoulis ahead of a new era at the club as they look to end their two year stay in the second division.

Writer’s View

It was pretty unsurprising that Giannoulis was let go by Norwich after their play-off disappointment; with a new manager coming in the club have chosen to go in a different direction, and that means a fresh set of players. Giannoulis struggled during his season in the Premier League so the club may have let him go with their top-flight ambitions in mind, with the Greek unlikely to feature at that level.

The clubs interested in the defender all suit him well. Giannoulis’ attacking style suits the pressing football often seen in the Bundesliga, and Augsburg would offer him the top-level experience he’d be unlikely to get in England. However, Greece may be more appealing on a personal level; the football wouldn’t be as high quality but the chance to return home may be too tough to turn down.

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