The 26-year-old, capable of playing in both central defence and defensive midfield, has signed a three-year contract with die Löwen. He had one year remaining on his contract at Dresden but Kicker reported on Monday that he was available cheaply due to a relegation clause in the deal.
Nikolaou was a regular for Dresden in his two seasons with the club, making 58 2. Bundesliga apperances. He was creditted to solidifing Dresden’s defence after Markus Kauczinski moved him into defence after the winter break but his form dropped off after the restart.
He previously played in the 3. Liga for Würzburger Kickers and Rot-Weiß Erfurt, and was trained at 1. FC Köln.
Nikolaou is the first new arrival since Daniel Meyer took over last week, with sporting director Peter Vollmann saying he been one of the new coach’s “dream players.”
“With him, we were able to hire a defensive all-rounder who has great skills in the development game,” continued Vollman, adding that he expects him to “play a leading role in our team.”
“Eintracht Braunschweig: that’s tradition, that’s fans, that’s emotional football as I like it,” said Nikolaou himself. “The goals of the club are identical to mine and the discussions with those responsible convinced me from the start.”
Nikolaou is the first Dresden player to officially jump ship following the club’s relegation to the 3. Liga, but he will no doubt be the last, with the likes of Linus Wahlqvist (Paderborn) and Alexander Jeremejeff (Bochum) linked with other 2. Liga clubs.
Header image source: Eintracht Braunschweig.