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Get to Know: Nikos Karelis

Ten things you might not know about our new man

25 August 2019

On Friday, free agent Nikos Karelis joined The Bees on a one-year deal with the option of a further year. Get to know more about our latest addition below.

  • Nikos Karelis was born in Heraklion, Crete, on 24 February 1992.  
  • He was introduced to football by his father, who took him to Ergotelis’ academy at the age of 6. He joined senior training when he was 14 and, a year later, penned his first professional contract.
  • On 20 April 2008, he made his professional debut, coming off the bench in a game against Xanthi, becoming the youngest player ever to play for Ergotelis.
  • He caught the eye of Arsenal, who gave him a ten-day trial, but he opted to honour his contract and returned to Heraklion. He spent the following four seasons in Crete, playing 31 matches, scoring his maiden goal from the penalty spot against Panserraikos.
  • Following a goal-less ten game spell in the Russian top flight with Amkar Perm, Nikos joined Greek giants Panathinaikos in July 2013. It was money well spent. He featured 41 times for The Greens during his first season, scoring eight goals and contributing as many assists.
  • His stats the following year made even better reading: 50 appearances, 19 goals and four assists. One of those goals coming against PAOK in a 4-1 Greek Cup final victory. After nine goals and five assists in 22 games during the 2015-16 season, Panathinaikos’ dire financial situation saw him shown the door.
  • It was off to Belgium and KRC Genk next for Nikos. He made an instant impact, scoring a late winner on his debut. He managed ten goals and two assists in 20 games that term and had reached 18 goals by Christmas the following campaign before suffering a knee injury which sidelined him for ten months.
  • When he returned, he scored four goals in 22 games as KRC made the Jupiler League Play-Offs, ending the season in fifth. Last term was spent on loan in Greece with PAOK Salonika where he helped the Black and Whites to a league and cup double, scoring three goals in 11 appearances.
  • For his country, Nikos averaged better than a goal every three games as youth international and has three goals in 19 games for the senior Greek squad. His most recent cap came last November in a Nations League game against Estonia.
  • In total, Nikos arrives in West London with 73 goals and 25 assists to his name in 239 professional appearances as well as two Greek Cups and a Greek Super League title.

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