Giannoulis feels risky City move has been vindicated
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Dimitris Giannoulis is relishing the prospect of testing himself against the very best in world football for Norwich City in the Premier League next season.
The Greece international will make his loan move from PAOK permanent on July 1 for a £6.2million fee after City's promotion was confirmed two weeks ago.
Giannoulis arrived at Carrow Road hoping to help Daniel Farke's side complete the job in the second tier, and the 25-year-old believes his decision to join Norwich has been vindicated after they secured the Championship title with a victory over Reading on Saturday.
"It was my dream to play in the Premier League and it came true in just a few months. I can not wait, I am excited to face these world-class players in the best league in the world.
"When I started this adventure, I knew about the risks of this move, but I was ready to take it. Now I was right and I feel ecstatic that I will face these players. I am ready to test my limits.
"Coming to England, I was informed that Norwich is the best team in the league. Of course, I wanted to see it with my own eyes. When I came, we had not won three games and I can say that I was worried because the team did not perform as I expected.
"But it turned out that at that time it was a bad month and when it started rolling again, it proved to be the best team in the Championship. Our roster is Premier League level. We have great ball movement, we have an amazing offensive line with players like Cantwell, Buendia, Dowell and Pukki. That made a difference."
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Since arriving in England, Giannoulis has impressed with the consistency of his performances. His ball carrying capabilities and quality in wide areas has provided City's side with a greater balance.
City timed their run to perfection to land the highly-rated left-back in January, who had been linked with a host of top European clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City and Porto.
Giannoulis has revealed it was Italian side Atalanta that came closest to signing him prior to City's pursuit and praised PAOK manager Vassilis Panagtiotakis for helping him overcome the disappointment of missing out on a prospective move to Serie A.
"It is true that these proposals came. I had also discussed Atalanta's proposal with Ivan Savvidis (PAOK owner).
"The timing was bad because we had the games against Krasnodar in front of us, we were one step ahead of entering the Champions League groups, the goal was big. So it was decided not to proceed with my transfer to Atalanta," City's left-back told Greek outlet Gazzetta.
"My manager, Vassilis Panagiotakis, calmed me down, reassured me and later helped me get the transfer to Norwich. It turned out well for us in the end.
"I did not know where I was going after the rejection of the proposal by Atalanta, but Vassilis helped me get back on my feet. My career has gone through many stages so far, from many disappointments with successive loans and if anyone believed more in me, it was my manager. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. He and my brother were always by my side."