PSV Eindhoven lead this Eredivisie season after the opening eight matches but AZ has positioned themselves as contenders through Vangelis Pavlidis’ goals.
Pascal Jansen’s men, unbeaten alongside PSV and Feyenoord, are two points behind the leaders and boast the league’s third most prolific attack with 45% of those efforts courtesy of their Greek marksman.
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Pavlidis, 24, joined from Willem II in July for a reported €2.5m with his present contract expiring on June 30, 2025 and with the way things are going chances are AZ will make a profit on him.
The native of Thessaloniki has scored in each of AZ’s first eight league outings an incredible streak only bettered in Eredivisie history by Johan Cruyff who scored in Ajax’s first 14 matches of the 1966/67 season.
If he wants to equal the all-time record, Pavlidis will have to find the net against Heerenveen (home), NEC (home), Excelsior (away), Feyenoord (away), FC Volendam (home) and FC Utrecht (away).
— AZ (@AZAlkmaar) October 8, 2023
Chances of him doing that are strong as Pavlidis isn’t wasteful having produced his 10 strikes from 17 shots on target which is the most by anyone across Europe’s top seven leagues this season. “I hope Pavli will score thirty goals this season,” his manager Jansen recently said.
The last AZ player to come near that mark was Vincent Janssen who registered 27 goals in 34 league games which attracted Tottenham’s attention but the Dutchman was unable to live up to his £17 million fee having netted six goals in 42 appearances before moving on.
Staying on this particular theme of AZ players ripping up the Eredivisie before falling down to earth in England’s top division. Alireza Jahanbakhsh stepped up for the Cheeseheads with 33 direct goal involvements (21 goals and 12 assists) during the 2017/18 Eredivisie season but failed to score or assist in 19 league games for Brighton the following season.
Janssen and Jahanbakhsh sit first and second on AZ’s record departures list. Pavlidis may very well leapfrog them and if that happens then he will hope to not exactly follow in their footsteps.