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22.07.2015, 10:20
A family affair
«Go back »Print Version


NEWS FEATURE: Take a closer look at the 10 most significant summer transfers in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Part 2 looks at the top five so far

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's News
»
 

A family affair

Each July elite handball players all over Europe head for pastures new before preparations for the coming season begin in earnest.

The lead up to the 2015/16 VELUX EHF Champions League season has been no different, and here, ehfCL.com presents part two of the top 10 transfers so far.

After running through positions 10 to 6 on 20 July, we have now arrived at the top of the pile. 

And these include the MVPs from each of the previous two VELUX EHF FINAL4 events and the 2015 EHF Cup Finals MVP.

No 5: Marko Kopljar (CRO, FC Barcelona)

Marko Kopljar may not be the biggest name transfer in FC Barcelona’s rich history, but he is the tallest. Standing at 2.13m, the Croatia right back towers above all others, and it seems physical attributes have been behind more than one of the Catalan club’s signings this summer with 2.06m tall Polish line player Kamil Syprzak also coming in. Kopljar spent the past two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain and received offers from several of Europe’s top clubs before opting for Barcelona, where he will likely form one of the best right back duos in the world of club handball with Macedonian shooter Kiril Lazarov.

No 4: The Flensburg trio (Mahe, Toft Hansen, Lauge)

The 2013/14 VELUX EHF Champions League winners SG Flensburg-Handewitt have gone on something of a signing spree from their domestic rivals this summer. First, they snapped up Danish line player Henrik Toft Hansen, from HSV Hamburg, followed by another Dane – playmaker Rasmus Lauge from Kiel – and then French world champion Kentin Mahe, also from Hamburg. These moves add great depth to Ljubomir Vranjes’ squad and strengthen their push for a place in Cologne.

Despite their young age, Lauge and Mahe (both 24) have already built up a wealth of international experience, although they had contrasting 2014/15 seasons. Left back Lauge was finally back on court after being hit hard by several severe knee injuries while centre back Mahe enjoyed great success as an integral part of the French team at the World Championship in Qatar after winning an EHF EURO gold medal in 2014. He also won the EHF Cup Finals Most Valuable Player award. Toft Hansen again will fight with his brother Rene (THW Kiel) for the top spot in the family ranking.

No 3: Aron Palmarsson (ISL, MKB MVM Veszprem)

At the age of 21 Aron Palmarsson became the youngest two-time EHF Champions League winner, now the Icelandic mastermind leaves his ‘coaching father’ Alfred Gislason for Lake Balaton. 

Palmarsson, 25, is the third THW Kiel player to join VELUX EHF FINAL4 2015 finalist Veszprem after Momir Ilic in 2013 and Christian Zeitz in 2014. Immediately after being named Most Valuable Player of the 2014 VELUX EHF FINAL4 – despite the final defeat against Flensburg – Palmarsson announced his transfer. At the age of 22 the centre and left back was already part of the all-star team of the Olympic Games in London after arriving in Kiel aged 18. Palmarsson is one of the most skilled players in the VELUX EHF Champions League but was hit by long-term injuries in the previous season. Now he aims to kick-start his career in Hungary.

No 2: Niklas Landin (DEN, THW Kiel)

Danish goalkeeper Niklas Landin carries Kiel’s hopes of a fourth EHF Champions League title almost entirely on his shoulders. He was the standout star of the 2013 World Championship in Spain, where he helped Denmark earn a place in the final against the hosts.

One year later the successor to legendary Kasper Hvidt in the Danish national team won silver again at the EHF EURO on home soil, when he was part of the all-star team once more. For three years Landin was playing for Rhein-Neckar Löwen and was awarded best goalkeeper of German Bundesliga prize in 2014 and 2015 – but twice he was beaten to the title by his new club, THW Kiel. Now the 2013 EHF Cup winner takes the next step – and is expected to recreate the memories of Thierry Omeyer, who left Kiel in 2013. 

 

No 1: The Karabatic family (Paris Saint Germain)

The family is united again: Nikola Karabatic, Luka Karabatic and Noka Serdarusic – something of a father figure to the other two – are back on the same court, boosting the hopes of PSG to conquer Europe. 

Serdarusic and Luka had been working together at Aix-en-Provence, where Nikola spent time two years ago, before his transfer to FC Barcelona. After leading France to the triple crown of Olympic, European and world gold and inspiring Barcelona as MVP of the 2015 VELUX EHF FINAL4 and their latest Champions League trophy, the 2007 and 2014 World Handball Player of the Year is expected to bring the sweet taste of success to the city of love. 

Nikola and Noka were key to Kiel’s first-ever Champions League title in 2007, now Luka joins the club of stars. He is also a French national team player and adds greatly to the French side’s defensive wall with Nikola. By signing this trio, PSG are much, much more than a dark horse in the race to Cologne, now boasting four World Handball Players of the Year in their squad: Omeyer, Hansen, Narcisse and Karabatic.

 

C'est parti sous nos nouvelles couleurs !! LUKA KARABATIC William Accambray PSG Handball

Posted by NIKOLA KARABATIC on Tuesday, 21 July 2015

 


TEXT: Björn Pazen / jh
 
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