After the departure of Sofyan Amrabat, talented midfielder Odysseus Velanas will be looking to break his way into Utrecht’s first team. 

  • By Michael Bell
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Born in the Netherlands but with Greek heritage, Velanas started his career with amateur side VV Jonathan before being picked up by Utrecht.

A member of the club’s u19 side from the age of 16, Velanas finally made his professional debut for Jong Utrecht last season in a 4-1 defeat to NAC Breda on the opening day of the Eerste Divisie season. He went on to make another 29 appearances in the second tier, contributing two goals and three assists. His performances impressed Erik ten Hag and the midfielder was selected for the Eredivisie tie with PSV Eindhoven and the European playoff with AZ Alkmaar but remained on the bench for both matches.

The 19-year-old has been promoted to the Utrecht first team this summer and was a regular through pre-season and was in the squad for the Europa League qualifiers with Lech Poznan.

Velanas could represent Greece in the future but has so far opted for the Netherlands and has been a regular at U19 level, earning seven caps and scoring once.

Style of Play

A gifted youngster, Velanas is capable of playing any position in the centre of midfield which gives Ten Hag plenty of options going into the new season. He is strong and combative out of possession but with the ball at his feet, he has excellent technique and vision. He has a good eye for a pass but also likes to get forward and can score goals. His future probably lies as a box-to-box midfielder which allows him to showcase his full talents.

What to expect from Velanas this season

Over the past two seasons, both Bart Ramselaar and Sofyan Amrabat have emerged from the Utrecht Academy to play starring roles in the club’s midfield. This year, the highly rated Odysseus Velanas will be looking to get his chance to impress. Erik ten Hag has shown good ability to mould new talents and with Velanas he has another gem who can help the club in their bid to reclaim fourth spot.

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