Former Nottingham Forest winger Gil Dias scored his first goal for Olympiacos yesterday.
The 22-year-old scored Pedro Martins’ side’s first goal in a dramatic 3-3 draw away at Lamia in the first leg of their Greek Cup quarter-final tie. It was only Dias’ second appearance for the club, having made his debut against Panionios on Saturday.
Having struggled to make an impact at the City Ground, he will be hoping to get his career back on track in Greece. He’ll certainly be pleased that he’s played a part in the last two games.
He wasn’t the only former Forest player to feature in the match. Andreas Bouchalakis was also involved from the start. However, it wasn’t such a successful afternoon for the 25-year-old midfielder. He scored an own-goal on the half hour mark which temporarily put the hosts back in front.
Considering he only scored once during his spell with the Reds, it’s somewhat of a surprise that Dias has already opened his account at his new club. Although, it’s fair to say that the standard of football in the Greek Super League is lower than the Championship.
A player with potential
There’s no doubt that the winger’s arrival at the City Ground from Monaco on a season-long loan in the summer generated huge excitement. The Telegraph reported at the time that the Reds had the option to make the deal permanent for £17.5 million this summer.
It’s fair to say that this never looked like a deal worth going ahead with.
Dias was only able to score once for the Reds in 24 appearances in all competitions. However, he did show the odd glimpse of his potential. His exquisite lob against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup springs to mind.
He never seemed to fully adjust to the demands of Championship football. This will be the main reason why Martin O’Neill allowed him to leave the club a few months earlier than planned. Even under the management of Aitor Karanka, Dias was beginning to find his game time limited.
He’ll be a lot more effective in Greece where the game is a lot less physical, and he’ll be given more time on the ball. When he was given space to run into by the opposition’s defence, he did look a threat.
It’ll be interesting to see how his career develops from this point. He has the potential to go on to become a fine player. However, it wasn’t going to happen for him at the City Ground.
Whatever he goes on to achieve in Greece, the Reds made the correct decision to cut his loan short.