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Name: Charis Mavrias
It has been a chastening two years for Charis Mavrias at Sunderland. The Greek winger has made just six senior appearances during his time with the English Premier League club and looks set to depart the Stadium of Light this summer.
The Black Cats have been active in looking for a buyer for the Greece international, with interest from Championship clubs in England previously having cooled. Mavrias was loaned back to Panathinaikos during the January transfer window, having only joined from the Greek giants in 2013 for £2.5 million.
Panathinaikos have expressed an interest bringing Mavrias back to Athens permanently, though if Sunderland agreed to such a deal it would represent a considerable loss on their investment.
Speaking earlier this month, Mavrias was bullish about his future, despite the speculation.
“I think it’s time to get a chance to show I can count, otherwise if you don’t do this we will see what happens in the future,” the 21 year-old said. “I need to get playing time under my feet and show what I can offer. Definitely my priority right now is Sunderland.”
The above quote can certainly be read as a gentle reminder to the club, who are rebuilding under Dutch manager Dick Advocaat after securing their Premier League survival last season.
Mavrias’ career has stalled substantially in England after he was signed by Paolo Di Canio; the Italian manager didn’t survive beyond the end of the year and opportunities for the player were no better under his successor Gus Poyet.
Having been capped by the Greek national team after quickly rising through the ranks at Panathinaikos, Mavrias remains a talented footballer whose qualities are perhaps not best suited to English football.
A player who offers intelligence, mobility and technical quality over strength and raw pace, Mavrias tends to play as more of an inside forward than an out-and-out winger. Nonetheless, he has a knack for creating goals despite a fairly poor goal-scoring record at club level.
With his career in a state of flux, a return to Greece seems to be Mavrias’ preferred option, despite his failure to recapture form or make any sort of impact during his recent loan move to his former club.
“But, like I said, if I don’t [get playing time at Sunderland] then we will see how things develop and either go abroad or return to Panathinaikos,” Mavrias has said of his current situation. “I want to be somewhere where I will be wanted.”
Written by Chris Paraskevas
Follow Chris on Twitter @Cparaskevas
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