Greek side PAOK to welcome Super Eagles’ and Black Stars’ defenders

Greek side PAOK to welcome Super Eagles’ and Black Stars’ defenders
Credit: Iconsport

Giants of Greek football PAOK Thessaloniki have agreed deals to add two new African talents to their roster. Super Eagles of Nigeria defender, William Troost-Ekong and Black Stars of Ghana left back, Abdul Baba Rahman are new arrivals for the team and will be teammates for the 2023/2024 season in the Greek Super League. 

William Troost-Ekong’s arrival was announced on the club’s official website and Twitter page on Tuesday, where he was clad in the famous black and white PAOK kit. He joined the club for a reported £1 million, and his contract will run until 2026. 

Baba Rahman, on the other hand, has almost completed his move to the Greek giants and will be there for a second spell at the club. The Ghanaian international terminated his contract with Chelsea after making only 15 appearances for the two time Champions League winners and going out on loan seven different times. 

His first spell at PAOK was in the 2020/2021 season when he was loaned out to the club. In that season, Baba Rahman was a key figure in their squad and helped his team lift the Greek Cup. 

His time at the club must have left an impression on him, and he is set to take his talents back to Greece two years later.

Both players have featured for Nigeria and Ghana, respectively and have contributed in major tournaments during their international careers. Both players have moved clubs in order to boost their chances of making AFCON 2023, which kicks off next year with improved playing time at PAOK.

Injury free season is key for Troost-Ekong’s AFCON 2023 chances

Last season was not the best for the Super Eagles vice captain. The 2022/2023 campaign was one that was hampered by injuries during his loan spell at Salernitana. He spent the first half of the season at Watford where he played 15 times (started 12 games) before he was loaned out to Salernitana for the second half of the season. 

He was only able to make nine appearances (started four games) and score a single goal for the Italian outfit as injury kept him out of the team. When he was fully recovered, he could not displace the starting center backs.

With a new chapter ahead of him, the Super Eagles leader will hope to stay fit and ready for AFCON 2023.

PAOK move may rekindle Baba Rahman’s form

The 2022/2023 season saw Baba Rahman struggle for gametime at Reading. It was his second season on loan at the Championship club where he was a key feature but last year saw him only start 13 games. 

Moving to PAOK and playing regular gametime will be of huge help for the 28-year-old as he has not made the Black Stars squad since the 2022 FIFA World Cup, back in November. Regular first team football with the club may see him add to his 50 international caps for Ghana at AFCON 2023.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

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