Villalibre: Inaki Williams And Sabin Merino Are Benchmarks For Me

Asier Villalibre joined Numancia on loan just a few weeks ago and has been playing regular minutes since making his move to the Segunda club. He recently gave an interview with Javi Beltran of AS during which he says he feels he has played well, but hasn’t been happy with the results of games so far.

“I am very happy, very comfortable. Truthfully, it’s gone well. I’ve been in a hotel this month. It’s been better just for a month to stay at a hotel instead of finding some flat to live in. Individually I have felt good, well adjusted to my teammates. The penalty is that we have not won more than the first game. We have 48 points and still need one more victory. Those three points will secure permanence in the Segunda. We couldn’t win against Algeria and Lugo and that is an annoyance. Individually I think I have done well, but I’m not happy with the results. There are still three games left.”

Asier Villalibre

Villalibre made his first team debut this season (Image via Athletic Club)

Villalibre went on to say that he hasn’t played much with Kike Sola, who is also at Numancia on loan from Athletic, but that he thinks he is a great player based on what he has seen during training. The 19-year-old only has three games remaining at Numancia and he hopes to score a goal and help the team earn their stay in the Segunda.

“Kike and I haven’t played together much, mainly just at the end of games, but I see him playing well. In training he seems a very good player to me. I have always seen him in the first division and now I’m playing alongside him. Well, in the three games remaining, I want to score a goal. I don’t have much time left here but I have a lot of affection for this club. I want to help them achieve permanence and try to improve as much as I can. I want to use my time well. While here I have improved. There is more rhythm in the Segunda compared to the Segunda B, and it is more physical.”

The young striker has been compared to Inaki Williams and Sabin Merino who have recently earned their place in the first team. Villalibre says that he wants to be like them, while also praising the potential appointment of Cuco Ziganda as Athletic Club manager.

“Inaki and Sabin are two very good players. Inaki is playing more tan Sabin, but he’s a strong player as well. For me they are both a benchmark. They have managed to reach the first team and consolidate a place there. I would like to be like them. The truth is that I have a lot of confidence in Cuco and trust. He would help me a lot, he already has. In any case, I think he would be a great coach for me in the preseason and especially if I stay in the first team.”

Asier Villalibre

Asier Villalibre is trying to make the most of his loan at Numancia (Image via CD Numancia)

In closing, Villalibre took a moment to praise Aritz Aduriz for what he has done for Athletic Club. He also believes that playing well in his debut games with the first team this season will help him get more chances in the future.

“Every time I see Aduriz he is better, more clear in his role. I love Aduriz. He has been at the club for many years and I think he is a great player and a great person. I am very happy for making my debut, it was a very motivating experience. This is the club of my life and playing for the first team has always been my dream. Giving those assists will help me play more minutes. It is harder to score in the higher divisions because it depends more on smaller details. I am slowly trying to improve so that I can be effective.”

Asier Villalibre is expected to spend the preseason with the first team and fight for a spot in the squad. If Cuco Ziganda does take over the next Athletic Club manager it could greatly help the 19-year-old who has played a lot for him while at Bilbao Athletic. Still, Villalibre has to earn his place in the team and is ready to work hard to prove that he deserves promotion.


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