Paulo Fernandez made a happy return from AEK's injured side at the break as he was rewarded for his hard work and is now in line to join Mathias Almeida's playing equation.
Paulo Fernández joined AEK in November 2022 and played for the first time in January, despite suffering from injuries, he ended the season with a draw, a spectacular goal that sealed the win against PAOK in the final of the Greek Cup. Doubles after 45 years.
Unfortunately, the Spaniard was unlucky enough that during the June break and while all the yellow and blacks were taking a breather before preparation, he ruptured a tendon in his heel. In the days that followed, he walked through the surgery door and began the hard work of getting back into action.
The Spaniard, who has already been doing rehabilitation and strengthening exercises since the first days, has been positive about the progress he is making, which he has made sure to share on social media.
Gradually work began (from mid-August) at Spada and on the stadium courtesy of AEK (and rebuilding manager Angelos Contarini always by his side). His full arrival was announced in a press conference by Mathias Almeida, who said he would return between December and January, his player confirmed him.
Fernandes made his season debut
Having already started training with the rest of the team, Fernandez is gearing up to enter the competitive equation. He will need some time to fill the 'gap' to get some practice in his legs and be available.
Almeida manages each game by shuffling the deck, both with changes to the starting lineup, but making the most of the “right” of the five changes during the tournament. That's where Fernandes could 'click', as was the case with Eliasson last year, when he recovered from the fracture he suffered and played the first games as a substitute.
Paulo Fernandez played this role last season as well, while his presence adds another solution to an already full midfield lineup in yellow and black.
How long we have to wait for him to “debut” also depends on Fernandez and how he reacts and responds in training and with the rest of the team. A better case for him starting (if he rules out Aries) is the two quarter-finals where he plays against Niki Volos or Levadiagos.
After all, Union's coach had established the “Cup Eleven” last year and he will do the same this year.