Giannoulis in contention for Boro clash - as City secure work permit
- Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher
Norwich City have confirmed new signing Dimitris Giannoulis will be in contention for Saturday's home clash with Middlesbrough, after securing a work permit for the left-back.
The 25-year-old was signed on loan from Greek club PAOK Salonika on Tuesday of last week, with a view to the deal being made permanent if promotion is secured this season, for a fee believed to be around £6million.
After completing his medical and Covid-19 quarantine procedures after flying in from Greece, the next obstacle was securing a work permit for the left-back under the new rules brought in since the UK left the European Union at the start of the year.
This evening a club statement confirmed: "Norwich City can confirm that the application for Dimitris Giannoulis’ work permit has been successful.
"It was announced last week that Greek international Giannoulis had joined City on an initial loan deal from PAOK for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. The deal will be made permanent should City gain promotion to the Premier League.
"The Greek left-back is now officially eligible to train with his new team-mates and feature for City in competitive match action, starting with the weekend’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Middlesbrough at Carrow Road."
Giannoulis is already match fit, having made 20 appearances in domestic and European competitions for PAOK so far this season, playing the full 90 minutes in three matches already this month, the most recent of which was a 1-1 home draw with Olympiacos on Wednesday, January 13.
“I’m really happy, I can’t wait to get on the pitch and play football, and to help the team get promoted," the new signing told City's official YouTube channel.
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“It’s been a little bit busy but I am here and I can’t wait to get on the pitch with my team-mates.”
It means City boss Daniel Farke's left-back options are bolstered significantly all of a sudden, with defensive midfielder Jacob Sorensen having started the last 18 league matches for the Championship leaders in a previously unfamiliar position.
That followed persistent hip pain for summer signing Xavi Quintilla, who was signed on loan from Villarreal with a view to a potential permanent deal at the end of the campaign.
The Spaniard returned with 90 minutes during the 2-0 home win over Coventry in the FA Cup third round earlier this month but a positive Covid-19 test prompted a spell of isolation, keeping the 24-year-old out of the last three games.
Quintilla was also due to return to training at the start of this week, ahead of the visit of play-off chasing Boro on Saturday, for a 12.30pm kick-off being shown live by Sky Sports.
Bali Mumba has also featured at left-back for City, although is primarily a right-back, and the 19-year-old was an unused substitute during the 1-0 loss at Barnsley in the FA Cup on Saturday after his own spell of self-isolation was completed.