The most important thing at Athletic Club is youth development. It is this pillar that everything is build on and success is found. That being said, it is sometimes vitally important for players to leave the club in order to continue growing as developing as a professional footballer. This is usually the case for a handful of players every summer. In fact Urtzi Iriondo has already left to join Granada on loan and now Markel Etxeberria will join him in making a temporary exit from Bilbao.
On Thursday, Athletic officially announced that Markel Etxeberria will be spending the upcoming season on loan at Numancia which will be his third consecutive campaign in Spain’s Segunda division.
Etxeberria joined Lezama at the age of ten and rose quickly through the youth ranks. While playing with CD Basconia and Bilbao Athletic he frequently joined the first team for training sessions and even played in friendlies under Marcelo Bielsa. The right-back was also an integral part of Cuco Ziganda’s Bilbao Athletic squad that earned promotion to the Segunda a few years back. In the past he was viewed as a great candidate to one day take over for Andoni Iraola and now he is seeking to live up to that dream.
After Bilbao Athletic was relegated back to the Segunda B it was clear that Etxeberria needed to continue playing in the second division. He was sent on loan to Real Valladolid last season where he unfortunately struggled to find regular minutes. The 22-year-old featured in only five league matches, starting only once. Joining Numancia is seen as a great opportunity for Etxeberria to play regularly as he will have a great chance to be the starting right-back under manager Jagoba Arrasate.