Velios joined last season from Greek side Iraklis, a side his father played for at senior level. The Greek forward had joined the Iraklis youth academy in 2008 and made his first team debut one year later in April 2009 at just 17 years of age. He scored his first professional goal for the club later in the 2009/10 campaign against the mighty Olympiakos and went on to make 22 apps for the club, scoring four goals.
Despite interest from Fulham, Olympiacos and AEK Athens, he eventually switched to L4 for £250,000 following the recommendation of Moyes top scout Mick Doherty (sadly Doherty has since left to become Chelsea’s European scout )
Vellios has also appeared at international level for Greece at U17, U19 and U21 level. He has made in total 22 appearances combined scoring 8 goals.
His primary ability is to play as a target man, stretching defences with his physicality .He is capable of pushing opposition defences backwards and winning headers – something he has excelled in his cameos this campaign – winning 75% of his aerial duels – most notably his goal against Wigan but also the header which teed up Fellaini against WBA in the Carling cup.
As a striker inside the box you should always make two runs – one for the defender and one for you. For example, If you’re making a near-post run, pretend you’re making a back-post run – and vice-versa. This puts the defender off and give you the extra space and you’ll also have momentum over him. The screenshot above shows this nicely.
Velios possesses good control (insert good touch for a big man cliché) and a powerful shot with either foot. So far he has been limited this season to just 48 minutes of league action from substitute cameos which has yielded 4 shots and 1 goal. Not bad considering that Rooney averages the most shots per game in the division at 6.2 per game.
Transfer Policy & Squad Composition
The Clubs transfer policy adopts the business strategy of ‘invest to save’. The dire financial position means that this investment has to be small, but rather than invest in small fees for average senior players whose careers have already peaked , the money is channelled to younger players with superior quality who could eventually become top draw performers. In essence some of these buys, such as recent acquisition George Green, could be deemed a risk but the rewards are huge – the £60k purchase of Seamus Coleman being one such example.
“I’ve got to make sure that those players feel I believe in them. I’ve told the supporters we’ll be giving a lot of the young boy’s opportunities, and it’ll be up to them to show that they can do it. In turn, it could mean that some results don’t go the way we want. It’s difficult for an Everton supporter to accept that because they see themselves as one of the big clubs”
There is definitely a feeling then that the composition of the squad is changing – the squad Moyes built which took us to the Cup Final for example was mostly built signing senior players such as Lescott, Pienaar, &Yakubu. Due to the finance, the emphasis is now on younger players coming through with the squad depth over the next 2-3 years based on academy graduates and astute purchases like Velios who at 19 looks a real star for the future.