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Livingston bring in striker Harry Panayiotou on two-year deal

Raith Rovers v Rangers – Ladbrokes Scottish Championship – Stark’s Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Harry Panayiotou has renewed his love affair with Scottish football after joining Livingston.

The 26-year-old has signed a two-year contract, with the option of a third year, after leaving Vanarama National League side Aldershot.

The former Leicester striker was a team-mate of another of Livingston’s summer signings, Joel Nouble, who is on loan at Arbroath, and manager David Martindale noted how well the pair had linked up at Aldershot.

Panayiotou has 10 goals to his name in 25 internationals for Saint Kitts and Nevis and scored the winner against Leeds on his Leicester debut.

He had a loan spell at Raith Rovers in 2016 and netted in a 3-3 draw with Rangers.

Having scored eight goals in his final 14 games, Panayiotou was in demand in the National League but jumped at the chance to return to Scotland.

“I had a good season last year and had a few teams interested in me in the league, so I was weighing up my options,” he said.

“And then Livingston came in for me two days ago and I believe it’s the best place for me to showcase my talent.”

Panayiotou raved about his experience in Kirkcaldy.

“I loved it,” he said. “I was a young boy, 21 at the time, on loan from Leicester, and I got on with the fans so well. I know what Scottish football is all about and how passionate the fans are. So I’m excited.

“I played against Livingston so I’m familiar with the place and I am looking forward to coming here and scoring goals.

“Everyone has been welcoming. The gaffer is a stern manager but I like that, he has told me what he wants from me and I am ready to do that.”

Wide player Odin Bailey arrived on loan from Birmingham on Monday so Martindale has strengthened his squad following the departure of Josh Mullin last week to Hamilton.

Martindale, whose side host St Mirren in the Premier Sports Cup on Saturday, said: “I think we needed bodies in the building with the injuries we had and the Covid issues. It’s two players who are coming in ready-made to add competition.”

The latest arrival will see Gavin Reilly move out on loan after the forward’s impact following his January move from Carlisle was undermined by a season-ending hamstring injury in early March.

“His injury was quite substantial,” Martindale said. “If I wanted to be really selfish, I would have kept Gavin in the building. It would have been limited game time and, come January, Gavin would probably ask to go out on loan.

“He is out of contract in the summer so it’s probably more beneficial for Gavin to go out on loan and we will reassess the situation in January.

“I have had a couple of clubs on the phone already about him. It is imperative Gav gets game time.”