Matthew Spiranovic lures Chris Ikonomidis to Perth Glory
Former Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovich has made his first significant contribution to Perth Glory, convincing rising star Chris Ikonomidis to join the club on a three-year deal.
New Glory coach Tony Popovic will have a star-studded squad at his disposal during the upcoming A-League season after Ikonomidis became the latest addition.
The 23-year-old, who has six national team caps to his name, chose to play for Australia instead of Greece during his junior career and made his Socceroos debut in March 2015.
Ikonomidis moved to Italy aged just 16 to sign with Atalanta, and 18 months later joined Lazio on a three-year contract. He subsequently debuted for the Rome-based club in a Europa League tie against Saint-Etienne before being loaned out to Salernitana in Italy, Denmark club AGF and the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The attacking midfielder has not played for the Socceroos since 2016, but he will be hoping a successful season with Glory will catapult him back into the national picture.
"The appeal of coming here was the project that is happening at the club," Ikonomidis said. "I definitely think that Glory will be competing for the title this year and that was one of the most tempting things about signing.
"I spoke to Matt Spiranovic over the phone a few weeks ago and he really convinced me what a great place this is."
Ikonomidis joins current and former Socceroos Spiranovic, Ivan Franjic and Jason Davidson in what has become a powerful Glory outfit.
"We had to fight long and hard to get Chris on board as there were numerous other teams, both here and abroad, vying for his signature," Glory football director Jacob Burns said.
"To get another Socceroo onto the books is fantastic and he adds further quality and balance to what was already a very strong squad.
"The fact that he has been at a club of Lazio's stature is a clear indication of the talent he possesses.
"And he is also a proven performer at A-League level having scored three goals and provided four assists for Wanderers in only 10 games last season."