York United add Liechtenstein international Dennis Salanović

York United FC announced on Wednesday the signing of Liechtenstein international Dennis Salanović on a one-year deal, plus a club option for a further 12 months.

A native of Vaduz, Liechtenstein’s capital city, the 27-year-old winger boasts an impressive pedigree, having accumulated 58 senior caps for his country since making his debut in September 2014. That includes nine FIFA World Cup qualifiers, 25 UEFA Euro qualifiers and 8 UEFA Nations League fixtures. Along the way, he’s netted some crucial goals, most notably an 85th-minute equalizer in a memorable 1-1 UEFA Euro qualifier draw with Greece in Athens. In 2018, Salanović also popped up with a goal and an assist in the 2-0 home victory over Gibraltar, his side’s very first UEFA Nations League win.

More recently, he started eight consecutive UEFA Euro qualifiers in 2023 as his country battled admirably in Group J against some of the continent’s heavyweights, including Portugal, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovakia.

At club level, Salanović’s first major move as a youngster came when he spent some time with Atlético Madrid’s youth academy, training alongside Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann during pre-season as Diego Simeone put him through his paces. But, he really came to prominence during a six-year stint in Switzerland. Making his way through the lower levels, his performances — particularly with FC Rapperswil-Jona — caught the attention of top-flight side FC Thun who signed him ahead of the 2018/2019 campaign. He racked up six goals and three assists from 36 appearances in all competitions as the side finished fourth to claim a spot in the third round of Europa League qualifiers. The following season, there was a hectic Euro battle with Spartak Moscow that ended in a dramatic 5-3 two-legged loss before Salanović made a further 23 appearances, scoring once and adding three assists.

Following the end of the 2021 season, Salanović went on loan to Finnish top-tier side AC Oulu. Just eight minutes into his debut against top-of-the-table HJK Helsinki, he found the net and his side would go on to claim a massive 2-1 victory. In 15 appearances, he scored five times – an immeasurable help to Oulu as they ultimately avoided relegation. After a brief stint with another Finnish club — FC Lahti — Salanović was most recently with CF Talavera in the Spanish third division.

“Dennis has got a wide-ranging skillset that really appealed to us,” says York United FC head coach Martin Nash.

“He’s good on both sides of the ball — a technical player, tactically astute with excellent ball-playing skills, and he can find pockets and get in behind. There’s also his versatility in being able to play anywhere across the front line which gives us plenty of options. And the level of elite experience he brings to the table is extremely impressive. He’s been a senior international for almost a decade and he’s still just 27, so he’s been immersed in that calibre of environment for a long time. At club level, he’s played in Switzerland’s top-flight, got a taste of the Europa League and wherever he’s gone he’s done very well. It says a lot about his maturity that he’s slotted into new environments quickly and easily. We’re very excited by what he’ll bring to our team and this league.”