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Walsall receive a partial return for Cypriot forward Andreas Makris

Friday 23rd June 2017
On August 1st, 2016 Walsall FC signed Cypriot forward, Andreas Makris. The Sadlers managed to sign him from Cypriot side, Anorthosis Famagusta for a fee of around €300k. Just 10 months later Makris finalised a deal for him to return to his homeland in Cyprus. This time for APOEL. So what went wrong for the 21-year-old?

Makris joined Walsall and broke their transfer record. There were expectations as the fee was so high yet nobody knew who the young Cypriot was. Prior to arriving in England, Andreas Makris played for 2 Cypriot clubs making 97 league appearances and scoring 20 goals in total.

After being in Walsall's squad Makris was seen more as a regular on the bench. Although he would make numerous appearances but not in the starting XI. He is noticeable from his physique on the field and his height of 5 ft 8. Even though he is played as a striker he can also be versatile and adapt to playing on the wings.
Makris scored his only goal for Walsall against Oxford United at the Bescot Stadium. He waited patiently 8 months for what would be his first and only goal for Walsall FC. After scoring you could see the relief on his face with great jubilation. You could also tell that every Walsall fan was happy for him as he is a type of player that doesn't stop trying. Players that work hard are a great example to the team and it's what every fan likes to see from their own players.

After the season finished Walsall received an offer from Cypriot side APOEL and couldn't refuse. Despite working hard it wasn't a successful season for the little Cypriot who will now play back in his homeland. The fee agreed was  €200k. Despite being €100k down overall from deals with Makris, Walsall will now have that money back in their pockets.

Walsall manager Jon Whitney believes the money can help towards a new striker for the upcoming season. Sadlers fans will hope that Whitney signs the right players as a number of players have not renewed their contracts, therefore, being released. This includes Isaiah Osbourne and Franck Moussa. Also, the league One side has managed to release 3 of their goalkeepers including Philippines International, Neil Etheridge. He had been at Walsall since 2015 and made 81 appearances before signing on for Championship side, Cardiff City.
Whitney has managed to bring in three players to the club so far for the upcoming season. One is Luke Leahy from Falkirk on a free transfer. Originally from Coventry, the left back has played all of his professional career so far in Scotland for Falkirk. Leahy has played five seasons with 158 appearances for the Scottish Championship side.

The second signing is Jon Guthrie (another free transfer) from Crewe who turned down a new contract. Guthrie is a centre back and has played in 137 games for the League Two side.

The most recent signature is goalkeeper Mark Gillespie. The 25-year-old turned down a new contract at Carlisle after seven years at the club. It is believed that Gillespie will be Walsall's first choice keeper for the season.

With plenty of time to go until the start of the new season, Jon Whitney will have plans in mind of what sort of players he still wants to sign. With the money mainly returned back in the bank, there could be a few big money signings for Walsall this summer. This also includes that Whitney could take advantage of the loan system as well. It's just a matter of time before we see if Walsall spend any of their transfer money and bring in any quality players.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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