As one of the highest rated players in the Greek Super League, Daniel Podence has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League with Wolves, according Greek football expert and Sport 24 reporter Dimitris Samolis.
Dimitris, you’ve seen every one of Podence’s appearances during his time at Olympiacos, what are the main attributes he possesses that will be of benefit to Wolves?
He is an extremely quick and pacey winger, and I believe the biggest advantage he has is that he can pass any opponent with his speed. It doesn’t matter who is against him, he will always try to pass them one-on-one. He’s very good with his dribbling and here in Greece, there were not many defenders who could handle him, and he proved it not only in the Greek Super League, but also in the Champions League and in the European matches. I would say he needs to improve a little bit in his scoring, but he can create chances very easily here in Greece from nothing. Daniel will help Wolves and I think Nuno Espirito Santo believes in him and he will use him, give him a chance to play, and will be a player who can create many problems to the defences in the Premier League. If he can improve in his goalscoring, I think he will be a very important player for Wolves.
He can play on either wing, but does he have a preferred side?
Here in Olympiacos, he was used more on the right flank, because on the left-wing they have a Greek international called Giorgos Masouras, so Podence would play on the right. However, there were many games where the manager changed the sides, so we would see Podence on the left and Masouras on the right, so I believe he could easily play both sides and doesn’t have a problem doing either. I don’t believe he would be as effective as a ‘number ten’ or as a striker because his low centre of gravity doesn’t help him up against big defenders, but he can easily play on both flanks.
Wolves already have one extremely fast winger in Adama Traore, so do you think the pair will be able to work together to cause even more problems to defences?
Adama Traore is stronger than Podence and I think Daniel will need to get more strength for Premier League football, but I’m very curious to see how these two guys will work together because they are so fast. This will be very important for Wolves in the future, in both the Premier League and Europe, because Wolves are doing so well in the Europa League this season that I believe they will continue further in the competition.
What was his relationship like within the Olympiacos team and with the coaching staff?
He was an indispensable part of Olympiacos and the manager, Mr Pedro Martins, treated him like a son. He believed in him and even if Olympiacos had to play against opponents who were not so strong, Podence would always be a starter. This showed how much he believed in his qualities and through his performances with Olympiacos, he managed to go to his national team.
How has the reaction from Olympiacos supporters and Greek football fans been to news of Podence’s move to Wolves?
People here, especially the fans of Olympiacos didn’t want to lose him because they understand how important he is and how important he would be in the future for the championship and the games against Arsenal in the Europa League round of 32. The fans of Olympiacos now expect the board to replace him with someone like him, but I don’t know if they would be able to find that. He was one of the most loved players in Greece, one of the best players of Olympiacos and one of the best players in the Greek Super League, and last night, he was awarded a prize by the Association of Greek Footballers because he was in the best 11 players in the championship last year. Although he enjoyed his time in Olympiacos, we all knew Podence would like to play in the Premier League, so I’m sure it will be a dream for him to play in one of the best European championships.
Finally, two of his goals for Olympiacos have come against Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur. Do you think this means he will be well suited to the Premier League?
I believe those goals played a role in the final decision of Wolves to sign him, but he’s the type of player who does not look at who his opponent is, every team is the same for him. He doesn’t have stress, once he gets onto the pitch, he just tries to do what he knows perfectly – get past opponents and try to score. If he plays against Real Madrid, or if he players against any of the teams here in Greece, he will do the same – he will try to counter-attack, face-to-face. He will not give the ball behind him, he will not play an easy pass backwards, he will try to get past his opponent and try to attack. This is what distinguishes him from the other players here in Greece.
Follow Dimitris on Twitter @dimsamolis.
More Podence content:
- The signing announcement
- His first interview as a Wolves player
- Podence's first day at Compton
- His career in images