Just as David Wagner’s full-back department was shaping up nicely, interest in Dimitris Giannoulis has served as a reminder that nobody’s safe from a summer of change at Norwich City.

The Greek seemed perfectly poised for a quiet off-season, after one of few campaigns amongst the Canaries squad that failed to decide anything either way.

In most cases, players came out looking unfit for the task of Championship promotion, as evidenced by City’s measly 13th-placed finish.

But Giannoulis has managed to do just enough to remind fans of what he’s capable of without ever nailing down his position as a regular starter.

After a productive end to the 2020-21 season started his time as a City player, pre-season assumptions were that he'd be a key man in a second consecutive promotion tilt.

The Pink Un: The 27-year-old was expected to be a key player during 2022-23.The 27-year-old was expected to be a key player during 2022-23. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

His questionable defensive abilities weren't to be tested nearly as much as in the gruelling top flight, and with more possession and freedom he could thrive as he did two years ago. That was the assumption, anyway.

Instead, Giannoulis' season was littered with inconsistency, starting almost with the first kick. His clever run to get beyond the Cardiff defence before firing a simple cross for Teemu Pukki out of play epitomised the season that would follow.

In the following game, City's first home fixture of the season against Wigan Athletic, injury struck.

Scenes of Giannoulis writhing round after rolling his ankle in a firm challenge suggested that he could have been out for longer than the eight weeks originally diagnosed, but as a tone setter for the season it certainly wasn't helpful.

The Pink Un: Giannoulis struggled with injury at the start of the season.Giannoulis struggled with injury at the start of the season. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Further injuries to left-back competition Sam McCallum and Jacob Sorensen worsened the problems in that area, but gave the 27-year-old a route back into the XI with ease.

That return came in a midweek defeat to Luton Town at Carrow Road, and the growing frustration from fans with Dean Smith's management didn't make it an easy atmosphere to return to.

The same was true of the subsequent draw with Sheffield United, with a Billy Sharp clash casting Giannoulis as the pantomime villain at Bramall Lane and ramping up a home support that didn't need awakening.

That game was bad news for him in multiple ways, with injury striking once again and the number 30 ruled out for another three games.

The rest of Smith's tenure was a struggle for Giannoulis, however, as poor results led to increasing pragmatism and the only way back into a starting berth was as a fairly defensive left midfielder at Kenilworth Road.

The Pink Un: The Greek struggled as Dean Smith's tenure came to a close.The Greek struggled as Dean Smith's tenure came to a close. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

When the defeat that became brought an end to the former boss' time at Carrow Road his temporary replacements didn't see fit to start him, and it took David Wagner's arrival to find him another chance.

As seen with right sided Max Aarons, the German's faith in attacking full-backs payed dividends for Giannoulis, and he thrived in the initial stages of Wagner's stewardship.

Four-goal wins over Preston North End and Coventry led to pronouncements that the former PAOK man's previous powers had returned but, much like Wagner's side as a whole, that progress was short lived.

Before long the left-back spot was hot potatoed between Giannoulis and McCallum once more, leaving a once-Premier League grade starter battling for his place in a mid-table second tier side.

That's what props up a summer of speculation for the former, with CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow known to have made contact with his representative.

Whether he's up for the fight in what could be another long and hard campaign in NR1 remains to be seen, despite initial suggestions that he was happy with life in Norfolk.

His assessment after a recent defeat to West Bromwich Albion suggested he was open to sticking around, but, as is becoming clearer, none are secure after a miserable 2022-23.

That interview spelt it out perfectly, and may have been his last public utterings in yellow and green. "It is our fault and it is a failure, of course," he said. "But we will try to get something out of it next season. Hopefully we will be much better than we have shown this year."