One to Watch - Apostolos Vellios
Name: Apostolos Vellios
Date of Birth: 8/1/1992
Former Clubs: Iraklis Thessaloniki, Everton
League Appearances (Goals): 43 (7)
International Appearances (Goals): 0 (0)
Stat of the Day: All three of Apostolos Vellios` Everton goals came as a substitute
Player Profile: Much has been made of Charlie Austin`s significance to QPR`s season; Ravel Morrison, who only joined the club in February, now stands as QPR`s second highest goalscorer with 5 goals, compared to Austin`s 15. Where would the Rs stand were it not for Austin`s important early season goals? Perhaps the answer lies with Blackpool - a club who started the season with similar vigour to Rangers, only to toil away as Paul Ince threatened to knock match officials out, they managed to go 101 days without a league win and goals became harder to find than an empty QPR physio room. Ricardo Fuller now fronts Blackpool`s top scorer list with a meagre six goals, as The Seasiders find themselves loitering just above the relegation zone and no striker`s early season goals to haul them through to the end of the season. Barry Ferguson`s Blackpool have consequently gone into the transfer window and snapped up hot prospect Apostolos Vellios from Everton on loan for the remainder of the season.
The Greek U21 international made an exciting start to his Everton career as he took his opportunity to impress when coming on in numerous short substitute appearances. The towering striker displayed his potential as a talented number 9, with formidable strength in the air and impressive link up play, but arrives at Bloomfield with a few critics to prove wrong as chances under Moyes, and recently Martinez, became extremely limited. Vellios was recently forced to counter, via Twitter, rumours of a questionable attitude and a refusal to take a step down by going out on loan to a Football League club but will be hoping his move to Blackpool will propel him back into Everton`s first team plans as well as help Blackpool steer clear of relegation.
Apostolos Vellios started his professional career at Greek side Iraklis Thessaloniki and having made his way through the youth ranks made his first team debut in a 4-1 away defeat to Skoda Xanthi in 2009. He scored his first professional goal for the club later in the 2009/2010 campaign against Olympiakos at the Karaiskakis Stadium, netting an equaliser late into stoppage time.
Vellios appeared 22 times for Iraklis, scoring four goals in the Greek league before he switched to Merseyside, amidst interest from a host of European clubs. He signed for Everton on a four-year contract for a fee of £250 000. Following a series of bright performances for the reserve side, Vellios made his first team debut in April 2011 in a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.
In September 2011 Vellios scored his first goal for the Blues as they beat Wigan Athletic 3-1 at Goodison Park. The following month the Greek striker scored within 19 seconds of coming on against Chelsea in a 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, before a week later he was handed his first Premier League start in Everton's 3-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Further senior appearances and continued goalscoring prowess for the reserves led to Vellios being named Young Player of the Year at the Club's End of Season Awards in May 2012.
Limited appearances this season finally led to Vellios joining Blackpool on loan for the remainder of the 2013/2014 season in March.