U.S. striker Jozy Altidore is set to move again in search of regular playing time.
Whether his next move allows for that or not, he seems to have found his next destination.
According to Goal.com’s Greek edition, Greek Super League champions Olympiakos have signed a loan deal with Spanish side Villarreal that would bring the 19-year-old Altidore to Karaiskakis Stadium. His scintillating performance in South Africa last month appears to have jumpstarted interest in the New Jersey-native’s prospects.
Altidore made the leap to Europe last summer but has struggled for playing time ever since. After three wildly successful seasons with the MetroStars/New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, he completed a move to Villarreal for $10 million. He made six appearances and scored one goal in the fall of 2008 before being loaned out to second-division side Xerez.
The hope was that he would gain experience in the lower division and then rejoin Villarreal for the 2009-10 campaign. Instead, he failed to see even a minute of playing time in the league as Xerez rolled to the Segunda championship, earning automatic promotion to the Primera Division.
The loan deal completed, Altidore returned to Villarreal. However, during the Confederations Cup, he told Goal.com he did not want play for the Yellow Submarine this coming season.“In my mind, I don’t want to go back there,” he said.
In Piraeus, Altidore will look to add to an Olympiakos side that is one of the most dominating teams in any domestic league in Europe. O Thrylos have won the title all three years since the inception of the Super League and 12 of the last 13 Greek first-division championships.
There will be competition for the starting position up top, including young Brazilian Diogo and newly inked Englishman Matt Derbyshire. Whether Altidore can earn playing time or not remains to be seen. But the move provides another fresh start for a player who is desperate to get on the field.
Greg Lalas, Goal.com
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