The summer transfer window hasn’t even opened yet and already the Alex Berenguer saga has become a bit taxing. Osasuna has refused to negotiate a deal for anything other than the winger’s €9 million release clause, while Athletic has continued to offer bids of around half that number. In truth, refusing to negotiate is a tactic that Athletic regularly uses so they can’t be upset with Osasuna for doing the same thing. Still, if for some reason meeting Berenguer’s clause is unacceptable to the Lions, there may be an alternative waiting in the wings at Bilbao Athletic.
Inigo Cordoba is currently the starting left-winger for Bilbao Athletic and has really made a name for himself over the last two years. He is left-footed, unlike Berenguer, and can play on either side of the striker. He also has tremendous work rate which has helped him cement a place under Cuco Ziganda. The Lezama standout is a true winger who has started to show an eye for goal, scoring four times this season. He tends to turn up in the biggest moments and is always one of the most passionate players on the pitch. If Athletic is looking to add depth down the wing, Cordoba could do just that.
Earlier in his development Cordoba played a lot as a central attacking midfielder and was known more for his creativity than his scoring. That has changed a bit lately and he has started to become a dangerous player in front of goal. While not as fast as Berenguer, Cordoba does have exceptional positioning and knows how to put himself in the right areas. He is never afraid to track back and defend, which makes his work rate even more impressive and has turned him into a complete winger.
Due to the emergence of Cordoba, some have even begun to speculate what would happen if the 20-year-old were actually playing for Osasuna instead. Would Athletic be pushing to sign him as much as they are with Berenguer? There simply is no way of knowing the answer to that question, but it is clear that the pair have a lot in common. Both play mainly on the left side, cover a lot of ground, and are known for their creativity with the ball at their feet and when passing. They aren’t exactly the same, but there are enough similarities to warrant a comparison.
Right now Berenguer is a more experienced player who seems to have a higher ceiling of potential. There is also the issue of him being able to play left-back while Cordoba doesn’t have any familiarity anywhere but the attacking line. If the goal is to add depth on the wings, Cordoba could absolutely be an alternative, but the versatility that Berenguer would provide wouldn’t be duplicated. There is a reason that Athletic is trying to sign the Osasuna starlet instead of just choosing to promote someone like Cordoba. He is a massively talented young player with immense potential and the ability to provide a lot of depth instantly. Still, if the Lions can’t make the deal happen, their own youth product would not be a bad backup plan.