Sint-Truiden Defender Georgios Vagiannidis: “Aiming To Start For Inter, Achraf Hakimi Is World’s Best Wing-Back”

Sint-Truiden Defender Georgios Vagiannidis: “Aiming To Start For Inter, Achraf Hakimi Is World’s Best Wing-Back”
May 20, 2021 00:30
( )

Inter loan defender Georgios Vagiannidis is targeting a spot in the Nerazzurri’s starting XI for the 2022-23 season.

Vagiannidis is coming to the end of a season-long loan at Sint-Truiden, who finished 15th this season in the Jupiler Pro League, the top flight of Belgian football.

The former Greece under-19 right-back joined Inter from Panathinaikos last summer and he is aiming big when it comes to the Nerazzurri.

“I might be ready to take on the challenge at Inter from the season after next,” Vagiannidis, who failed to make a single league appearance for Sint-Truiden this season, told on Wednesday.

“I don’t know where I’ll go now because the league season isn’t over yet, but I think for my future it would be best to go on loan in a smaller club to play more, gaining experience.”

Vagiannidis admitted he was not expecting Inter to come calling when they made their move last year, but that hasn’t stopped him setting an ambitious target with the Nerazzurri.

“I was very surprised and happy,” the 19-year-old recalled.

“It was a dream come true to be an Inter player, the biggest team in Italy and one of the world’s top clubs.

“My objective in the short term is to play as many games as possible and improve day after day, and then for the future I’d like to join the Inter squad and fight for a place in the starting XI.”

Vagiannidis played just two minutes all season with Sint-Truiden (in all competitions), with injury concerns and tactical problems stopping him from getting a run in the team.

“I got injured at the start of the season and I was out of action for almost a month,” he explained.

“After that we changed our coach and the new coach preferred playing with defensive full-backs, whereas my qualities are more attacking.

“I wasn’t able to convince him (to play me), so this wasn’t the season I’d imagined.

“But it’s been a very different experience to what I was used to and it’s helped me grow a lot.”

Vagiannidis also had kind words for two men who have dominated Inter’s wings in recent seasons, Javier Zanetti and Achraf Hakimi.

“Zanetti was my idol and I think he would be for any right-sided defender,” he argued.

“He was a true captain and a player with great personality.

“I’ve already trained with Hakimi for a few days, he’s a nice guy and he could certainly help me develop.

“At the moment, he’s the best right wing-back in the world, I could learn a lot from him.”

Vagiannidis was joined on loan at Sint-Truiden this season by Inter’s former Primavera striker Facundo Colidio, who has also spoken about his time in Belgium this week.

By Will Beckman