Euro Whites: Jan Gregus

Ahead of Slovakia's round-of-16 clash with Germany, profile a former Wanderers loanee who will be hoping to win his first taste of tournament football for the Slovaks

Unused so far throughout Euro 2016, profile a former Wanderers loanee who won his last international cap for Slovakia as they secured a surprise victory in a warm-up friendly over today’s round-of-16 opponents, world champions Germany.

SLOVAKIA (2015-Present)
Caps: 7
Goals: 0

European Championships: 1 (Euro 2016)
Best Stage Reached: TBC 

Tournament Appearances: 0
Tournament Goals: 0

Another former Wanderer involved at Euro 2016, Jan Gregus will be keen to get his first taste of tournament football as Slovakia take on world champions Germany this afternoon, having completed a move to FC Copenhagen last week.

Born in Nitra, Czechoslovakia, the midfielder started his career with his hometown club, FC Nitra.

Handed his senior debut in May 2009 against Spartak Trnava at the age of 18, he would go one to make four appearances for the club before signing for Czech side Banik Ostrava the following July.

Making 12 appearances during his first season at the club, Gregus established himself as a regular the following year, registering 21 league appearances as well as earning a European debut as Baink Ostrava competed in the early qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

A virtual ever-present in 2011/12, the midfielder scored his first professional goal in Banik Ostrava’s 1-0 victory over Hradec Kralove in April 2012.

Having started the 2012/13 season with Banik Ostrava, Gregus signed for Bolton Wanderers on a 12-month loan deal in January 2013, forming part of the Whites’ Development Squad.

Making an immediate impact for the Bolton’s second string, the midfielder scored a stunning 30-yard late goal on his debut as the Trotters fought out a 3-3 draw with Manchester City.

Also on the scoresheet against Liverpool Under-21s in his penultimate appearance for the club, he returned to Czech Republic and Banik Ostrava when his loan deal expired before he was on the move again the following winter, signing for fellow Czech side FK Jablonec.

Impressing enough to catch the eye of the Slovakia national side within months of joining the club, the midfielder was an unused substitute as they beat Luxembourg 3-0 in a Euro 2016 qualifier in March 2015.

An international debut followed in Slovakia’s next outing as the midfielder completed the full 90 minutes in their 1-0 friendly victory over Czech Republic.

Returning to club action, his first goals for his new club came the following month as he again opened his account against Hradec Kralove, netting a brace as FK Jablonec recorded a 4-0 victory.

Finishing third in the league that year, Gregus also helped FK Jablonec reach the Czech Cup Final, only for them to lose to Slovan Liberec.

Qualifying for the Europa League as a result, the midfielder was on the scoresheet as FK Jablonec surprisingly saw off FC Copenhagen on away goals following a 3-3 aggregate draw, before also starting both legs of their narrow 1-0 aggregate qualifying defeat to Dutch giants AFC Ajax. 

Retaining his place in the Slovakia squad, he was utilised mainly as an used squad member for the second half of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

However, he was handed his competitive debut against Spain in September 2015, completing the full 90 minutes against the reigning European Champions as Slovakia fell to a 2-0 qualifying defeat.

Winning further caps in friendly clashes with Switzerland, Iceland and the Republic of Ireland, Gregus again helped FK Jablonec reach the Czech Cup Final, only to this time lose to Mlada Boleslav.

Named in Slovakia’s squad for Euro 2016, he started their first warm-up friendly as they beat Georgia 3-1, before picking up his last cap to date as a late substitute in a shock victory by the same scoreline over world champions Germany.

An unused substitute for their final friendly against Northern Ireland, the midfielder remained on the bench as Slovakia opened their Euro 2016 campaign with a defeat against Wales, before beating Russia in their second outing with fellow former Wanderers loanee Vladimir Weiss on the scoresheet.

He again watched on from the sidelines as Slovakia progressed to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 courtesy of a 0-0 draw with England, having completed a move to Danish side FC Copenhagen the day before.

Now facing Germany again in the round-of-16, Gregus will be hoping for a repeat performance from last month as he looks to impress his new employees and help Slovakia progress in the competition.  

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