Greek international attacking midfielder Dimitrios Pelkas joined Hull City on a season long loan from Turkish club Fenerbahce on August 2022 transfer deadline day. He was immediately put on the City bench by manager Shota Arveladze and made his debut when introduced as a late substitute in a Sunday fixture against Sheffield United, and four weeks later he scored his first City goal against Wigan in caretaker manager Andy Dawson’s first win at the City helm.
Dimitrios Pelkas was born in Giannitsa in Northern Greece, just a few miles north of Alexander the Great’s birthplace. He joined the youth team ranks at nearby city side PAOK Thessaloniki as a teenager and made his senior debut in an August 2012 Europa League tie against Isreali side Bnei Yehuda – Dimitrios scored his first senior goal in the second leg a week later. He made his Greek Super League debut for PAOK against Athens side Atromitos in September 2012 and ended his first senior season with 16 appearances across all competitions.
Pelkas spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Thessaloniki -based second tier side Apollon Kalamarias, scoring 7 goals in 18 appearances including a hattrick in a January 2014 4-1 win over Anagennisi Giannitson, an opponent bsed in his home town. Further experience was gained in the 2014/15 season, spent at Portuguese Lige Nos side Vitoria Setubal where Pelkas scored five goals in 30 senior appearances that included the Allianz Cup semi-final defeat to Benfica.
Returning to PAOK for the 2015/16 season, he became an established part of the first teamsquad for the next five seasons as the Thessaloniki side embarked on a period of great success in League and Cup. PAOK lost the Greek Cup semi-final to Olympiacos with Pelkas playing in only the first leg, then in 2016/17 PAOK finished second in the Greek Super League and beat AEK Athens in the Greek Cup final, in which Dimitrios was an unused substitute. PAOK avenged this defeat by beating AEK in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 finals with Pelkas scoring in the former and creating the winning goal in the latter for ex-Tiger Chuba Akpom. PAOK also won the Greek Super League in 2018/19 to claim a League and Cup double. By the end of the 2019/20 season Pelkas was a key part of PAOK’s successful squad that has topped the League once and finished runners-up three times in five seasons, reached three finals and two semi-finals in the Greek Cup and competed in European competitions. This high profile success story attracted the attention of overseas clubs and after beginning the 2020/21 season with eight senior appearances for PAOK, taking his tally for the club to 41 goals in 177 senior appearances, he joined Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce in October 2020 for a 1.6 million euro fee.
Pelkas slotted straight into the Fenerbahce first team, scoring on his debut in mid-October 2020 against Goztepe. He ended the 2020/21 season with eight goals in 34 appearances for the Istanbul giants but missed both the start and end of the 2021/22 season due to injury. Despite these absences he made a further 33 senior appearances, scoring five goals. During the summer of 2022 Pelkas was the subject of regular rumour of a transfer to Acun Ilicali’s Hull City side, a suggestion that became truth at the end of August 2022 with a season long loan move to the Tigers.
Pelkas was recognised as an international talent at a young age, making both his under-19 and under-21 debut in the Autumn of 2012 and representing Greece in the 2013 Under-20 World Cup finals tournament held in Turkey. After five under-21 caps Pelkas rose to the Greek senior international side in 2015, making his debut in October against Northern Ireland. After three caps in 2015 Pelkas was out of the international squad for two years, returning in November 2017 for the World Cup play-off qualifier against Croatia. He then became a regular fixture in the Greek national side, scoring his first international goal in October 2021 against Georgia. In September 2022 he won his first cap as a Hull City player when he started a UEFA Nations League tie against Cyprus.
Date/Place of Birth: 26 October 1993, Giannitsa (Greece)
Hull City First Game: 4 September 2022, Sheffield United H (Championship), 28 years, 313 days old
Hull City Final Game: [current player]
PAOK Thessaloniki (2009-2020), Apollon Kalamarias (2013-2014, loan), Vitoria Setubal (2014-2015, loan), Fenerbahce (2020-current), Hull City (2022-2023, loan)
Hull City Record
Career: 15 apps, 2 goalsDimitrios Pelkas