Attacker | Anorthosis Famagusta | Georgia
Being in the right place at the right time is not luck - it’s an art form.
Arsene Wenger may be a noted linguist and a man who brought a certain sophistication to the English Premier League, but back in the 2001 it was his literal translation of a French term that coined a now well-worn phrase.
Beka Mikeltadze is what the former Arsenal boss might have termed a Fox in the Box, or whatever the literal translation is in Georgian. He may be fairly tall and rangy but it’s not his physicality that gets him his goals, it’s his ability to seek out that pocket of space in the penalty area - and once you’re in there, surely it’s the ball’s job to come to you.
2018 Has Been…
Some of the players in the Class of 2018 have seen their careers flourish over the last 12 months. They’ve established themselves in their club’s first team or they’ve gained their first international call-ups. Indeed some have joined massive European clubs for eye-watering price tags.
The Georgian striker, the subject of this review, is not one of those players.
Yet to feature for his national team - and Georgia are hardly known for their surplus of attacking talent - it’s hard to say that this has been a vintage year for the 21-year-old. However Mikeltadze did get his move in the summer: from Rustavi in his native Georgia to Anorthosis Famagusta in Cyprus on a free.
A big move to European giants it is not, but the Cypriots are a fixture in the early stages of European football and certainly one of the biggest clubs on the island. If he scores goals here - and especially if he does it in the European “shop window”, as a commentator might say - there’s every chance he gets picked up by a club even further along the ladder.
Despite the relative obscurity of a move from Georgia to Cyprus there is still hope that this could be the start of something big… well, bigger.
Indeed, Mikeltadze is not the first Georgian to play his club football in Famagusta as a young professional. Temuri Ketsbaia, a name familiar to many a Premier League aficionado, got his first move away from his home country when he joined the Cypriot club. From there he moved to Greece before being picked up by Newcastle United and going on to become something of a cult hero and playing in the Champions League.
Ketsbaia also managed Famagusta between 2004 and 2009, so Mikeltadze is well and truly continuing the connection - despite his slow and incremental development, there’s still very much a path to the top.