The transfer window hasn’t opened yet but Athletic Club is already busy making preparations for the next season. Kuko Ziganda has been named the new manager of the first team, leaving a vacancy at the helm of Bilbao Athletic. Despite there not being a manager for the reserve team yet, the club has already made some key decisions about the futures of a handful of players. So far, four Bilbao Athletic players will officially leave the club this summer.
On Monday, Athletic announced that Gorka Iturraspe, Martin Bengoa, Lander Olaetxea, and Jurgi Oteo will not continue at the club and thanked them for their many years of service at Lezama.
Martin Bengoa and Lander Olaetxea leaving isn’t really a surprise. Both players are now 24 and have no path to the first team. They have been very important players for Bilbao Athletic but the time has come to move on and try to take the next step as professional footballers. Olaetxea joined Athletic two years ago when he was signed to Bilbao Athletic from Cultural Durango. Bengoa grew up at Lezama, joining the famous academy back in 2008. He says goodbye to the club after nearly a decade.
Gorka Iturraspe and Jurgi Oteo leaving isn’t quite as expected. Iturraspe, the younger brother of Ander Iturraspe, has shown flashes that he could become an decent player. However, intense competition at his position has limited his chances. Now 23, he says goodbye to Athletic after joining Lezama at the age of 10. Jurgi Oteo is perhaps the most surprising player to leave. He has been an exciting prospect for several years now with pace, work rate, and being dangerous on the ball. Still only 20-year-old, Oteo scored six goals for Bilbao Athletic this season while playing in 31 matches.