Cyprus Mail

Paralimni wonderkid Artymatas to have Chelsea trial

Panagiotis Artymatas captains the Cyprus U-16 side against Germany

By Andreas Vou

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, Paralimni’s 15-year old wonderkid Panagiotis Artymatas has accepted an invitation from Chelsea for a five-day trial at Cobham Training Centre.
The London club has been tracking the highly-rated young defender since the start of the season, and he will now get the chance to prove his talent in front of Jose Mourinho and the rest of his staff in the coming months.

The youngster will sign a contract and be inducted into the Chelsea youth academy if he is successful in his upcoming trial.
Artymatas, who only turned 15 last November, has already made three first team appearances for Paralimni, against current leaders AEL, Aris and a cup game at home to Ethnikos Achnas, as well as two caps for the Cyprus U-16s.

Over the years, despite not being one of the bigger clubs on the island, Paralimni has been a hotbed for developing young Cypriot footballers.
Panagiotis’ brother, Kostakis Artymatas, was signed by APOEL in the summer after a hugely impressive campaign with Enosis for around €100,000.
In December, 16-year old forward Grigoris Kastanos was snapped up by Italian giants Juventus, who fought off competition from Udinese and Manchester City to take the talented youngster to Turin.

In 2008, after an impressive campaign for Paralimni while still serving in the army, Demetris Christofi was signed by Omonia in a deal reportedly worth €800,000 which remains the most expensive deal ever in Cypriot football.
And the most famous of all, the Cypriot national team’s all-time leading goalscorer, Michalis Konstantinou, won the Golden Boot as an 18-year old for Paralimni.

In his breakthrough campaign, Konstantinou scored 17 goals in 25 games in the 1996/97 season which subsequently resulted in a transfer to Greek side Iraklis, and from the Thessalonian side he then moved to Panathinaikos for a record €11.3m transfer.

Paralimni currently lie precariously in 13th place in the standings, five points from safety with five matches of the regular season left.
Like most on the island, the club is suffering extreme economic difficulties and has had to revert to using players from their youth academy to make up the numbers.

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