Athletic Club has begun to prepare the youth squads for the upcoming season and that also includes promoting players who have shown that they are ready for the next level of football. According to a report from LaCanteraDeLezama.com, five players will leave CD Basconia to join Bilbao Athletic for the upcoming season. Those players are Inigo Vicente, Iker Bilbao, Victor San Bartolome, Daniel Vivian, and Jon Ander Gonzalez, more commonly referred to as Dopi.Vicente has already made a huge name for himself at Lezama, shattering youth scoring along the way. He led Basconia with 14 goals last season but missed the last little bit of the season with an injury. Due to his trajectory, this promotion was definitely expected. Meanwhile, Dopi’s promotion isn’t all that surprising either. The winger was just behind Vicente with 10 goals last season and he even played for Bilbao Athletic twice which showed that he was ready for the jump.
Vivian, who won’t turn 18 for another week, was a rock in defense for Basconia and featured in 30 matches. Despite his young age, the club believes that he is ready to test himself against stronger competition in the coming year. Lastly, central midfielders Iker Bilbao and Victor San Bartolome will be taking the step up as well. Bilbao (21) played in all but one game last year, while San Bartolome (17) is the youngest player of the group and features in 10 matches last campaign. Both will provide much needed depth to the Bilbao Athletic midfield.
On the surface all fove moves make a lot of sense. Bilbao Athletic have lost players in these positions and need to be strengthened. The potentially odd part of this is that promoting only five players is a low number compared to previous years. However, it can be explained when taking into account the fact that the club has already signed a handful of players from other clubs that will be incorporated into Bilbao Athletic this season.So far, Bilbao Athletic has signed Gernika winger Inigo Munoz, Zamudio winger Gaizka Larrazabal, and Deusto defender Jon Rojo. The club is also expected to finalize the return of Alaves B striker, Asier Benito, who spent time at Lezama in the past. In addition to four new signings, holding midfielder Inigo Baque will be returning from loan at SD Amorebieta and is expected to have a place in Gaizka Garitano’s squad.
It is clear that this season Bilbao Athletic aims to seriously contend for promotion back to the Segunda. The squad will be made up of veteran players as well as young and hungry starlets. Gaizka Garitano will have a lot of talent to field a strong lineup each week, but his primary goal will continue to be preparing players to eventually join the first team and play at the San Mames one day.