TONY Popovic has added a trusted attacking weapon to his ranks at Melbourne Victory, securing the services of Socceroos and former Perth Glory forward Chris Ikonomidis on a three-year deal.
The 26-year-old joins the club after a three-season stint out West. Ikonomidis joined Glory to work under Popovic ahead of the 2019/20 season, where the experienced head coach helped his attacking ace return to the Socceroos frame and build on the six international caps he had to his name before the pair connected in Perth.
Three seasons on from Glory's Premiership-winning 2019/20 campaign, Ikonomidis joins Popovic ahead of another exciting new project alongside two players - Jason Davidson and Matthew Spiranovic - who played equally pivotal roles in Perth's magnificent first season under Popovic's tutelage.
Ikonomidis is the fifth signing of Popovic's off-season recruitment drive. He joins Spiranovic, Davidson, Jason Geria, Josh Brillante and Stefan Nigro at Victory as the club looks to bounce back from a maiden wooden spoon in 2020/21.
The former Lazio forward scored 16 goals and assisted six more in 41 appearances for Perth across three seasons. He put four goals and one assist on the board in 2020/21 after recovering from a knee injury which kept him out for the majority of the prior campaign.
Speaking to the club website, Popovic said Ikonomidis will lead by example in his side, adding fantastic quality, ambition and humility to the squad.
“Chris has fantastic qualities that will excite the fans and also add an extra dimension to the team,” Popovic said.
“His ambition and humility are key qualities that we want, need and expect from all members of our squad and he will lead by example in this regard.”
Ikonomidis said playing under Popovic once again was one of the decisive factors in his most from out West to join Victory.
"Tony Popovic is assembling a strong squad and I am looking forward to getting to Melbourne and starting to train with everyone,” Ikonomidis said.
“One of the key reasons for my move to Melbourne Victory was the chance to play under the Boss again. I know how he likes to operate and his expectations, and I am confident I can work with and deliver on both.
“I want to be a part of what the club is creating and also experience the passion and noise of the Melbourne Victory fans.”
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