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After a difficult week which has seen the club suffer an early elimination from the UEFA Cup, the proposed loss of their president and the exit of arguably their star player, AEK Athens have received a major boost ahead of tonight’s derby match against Panathinaikos with the official announcement that Panionios striker Rafik Djebbour has signed with the club.

A statement on the club’s official website confirmed the move: “AEK announces the acquisition of Rafik Zoheir Djebbour. The 24 year-old striker has signed a three year deal with the club.”

The Algerian international began his career with French outfit Auxerre, before spending one season at La Louvière. He then moved to Greece where he spent his first season with Ethnikos Asteras, before playing for Atromitos and then spending a highly successful season under German manager Ewald Lienen at Panionios. His form for the Kyanerythri last season had reportedly caught the attention of Greece’s ‘Big three’ but the talented forward has opted to sign for the Dikefalos Aetos.

In a separate announcement, the club also announced that youngster Panagiotis Kone had officially joined Iraklis and wished the player the best of luck with the rest of his career.

It remains to be seen whether Djebbour will be ready to make his debut in tonight’s crucial derby match.

Chris Paraskevas

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