Of all the Champions League fixtures on display on Wednesday night, Olympiakos vs Red Star Belgrade was probably the least appealing on paper.
However, for West Ham and Aston Villa, it was the perfect opportunity to send a scout to Greece to keep an eye on some of the talent on display.
This is according to Gian Chorianopoulos, a journalist for Greek website Sportime, on social media, revealing the Premier League pair were joined by Villarreal, Valencia, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray (among others).
Why West Ham were there isn’t glaringly obvious at first, but it’s easy to see why Aston Villa made the trip.
#AstonVillaFC #WestHamUnited #Villarreal #Valencia #Fenerbahçe #Galatasaray scouts among others, yesterday in Athens. At Olympiacos vs Crvena Zvezda (1-0) #scouts #scouting #ChampionsLeague @scoutsattending
— gian chorianopoulos (@choria80) December 12, 2019
Just under a week ago, we covered quotes from Omar Elabdellaoui, who plays for Olympiakos, and who had been linked with a move to Dean Smith’s side.
He was talking to Reverse Nisselue, a Norwegian football podcast, and admitted that while he was happy with the Greek side, he knew he was entering the final few months of his contract and ‘decisions will have to be made’ after being quizzed specifically about interest in him from Aston Villa and Celtic.
As for West Ham, they were reportedly interested in Pape Abou Cissé in the summer, but the Senegalese defender missed the fixture injured.
We’ll have to wait and see, but with January just around the corner, these kind of trips could be happening far more regularly in the next couple of weeks.