When Chris Ikonomidis decided to swap Serie A side Lazio for a return to the Hyundai A-League with Perth Glory, he was hoping to make an immediate contribution for his new club.
But the speedy winger couldn’t have imagined just how much of an impact he could have in his first month with Tony Popovic’s side.
Ikonomidis has been rewarded for his sensational start to the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season by being confirmed as the November nominee for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.
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The 23-year-old has been a key factor in Glory’s unbeaten start to the campaign, which has the club from the west four points clear at the top of the ladder after five rounds.
In five appearances this season, Ikonomidis has been involved in five goals, scoring four and setting up another.
He scored a double to help Glory sink the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, including a dramatic winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to send nib Stadium into raptures.
It’s not the only time Ikonomidis has struck late to land Glory all three points this season.
He also popped up with the winner in injury-time back in Round 2 as Glory got a win on the road against Champions Melbourne Victory.
But it’s not just his goals which have underlined his contribution to Glory’s impressive start to 2018/19.
Ikonomidis’ pace has been pivotal in Perth’s ability to hit opposition teams in transition, while he isn’t afraid to fire off an effort at goal, with his 17 shots the most of any Glory player this term.
He also gets through plenty of work in Popovic’s demanding 3-4-3 system, contesting 62 duels in his five outings, with only wing-back Jason Davidson (64) involved in more for Perth.