New Western Sydney recruit Chris Ikonomidis plans to use the knowledge from Serie A club Lazio to add a new attacking dimension to the Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League.
Ikonomidis is on loan from the Italian giants to the Wanderers for the rest of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season.
The 22-year-old came off the bench against the Mariners last weekend and could make his first Hyundai A-League start in Sunday’s rescheduled Round 7 clash against Wellington Phoenix at ANZ Stadium.
Ikonomidis, born and raised in Sydney, is playing his first senior football in Australia having left for Europe as a 15-year-old to chase his dream.
After signing a youth contract at Atalanta, the Sutherland Sharks junior eventually signed for the Rome-based club and made his Lazio debut in the Europa League in 2015.
While he has yet to entrench himself in the first team, Ikonomidis admits his game has developed immensely at Lazio.
“It gave me a lot, being with such big players at the game,” said Ikonomidis.
“This season ahead of me I had Nani, [Ciro] Immobile and Felipe Anderson.
“I had some big players there who are some big names in Europe, so I obviously tried to learn as much as I could from training with them on a daily basis.
“Now it’s all about putting that learning into a game situation.”
Having been capped six times for the Caltex Socceroos, Ikonomidis knows a good end to the season will only boost his chances of breaking into Bert van Marwijk’s FIFA World Cup squad.
It’s why he’s desperate to make the most of this opportunity by playing some of his best football with the Wanderers.
“I was looking to get some continual game time and get some rhythm to hopefully get back to my best form,” Ikonomidis said.
“Obviously nothing is a guarantee and I will have to play good and fight for my spot.
“At Lazio, they really bulked up on their attack so opportunities were more scarce than ever so coming on loan made sense.
“I hope I can add a new attacking dimension to the team and provide assists and goals. That would be the perfect scenario."