Iñigo Vicente Set To Spend The Preseason With The Athletic Club First Team
Iñigo Vicente is one of the rising stars at Athletic Club and with good reason. He shattered goal-scoring records at the youth level and attracted the interest of clubs such as Real Madrid along the way. Having joined Lezama back in 2008 he has made a name for himself all along the way and fans have long wondered if he will become the next big thing at the San Mamés. Last season, while playing for feeder club CD Basconia, he scored 14 goals and was even handed a handful of matches with Bilbao Athletic. One more milestone accomplished.
This summer he was fully promoted to Bilbao Athletic where he would finally get tested at the highest level of his young career. The season did not start off great as he struggled to find his feet against stronger competition. He played only 45 minutes in the first game of the season then didn’t feature for five consecutive matches. Some began to worry if he was actually ready for the step up. He silenced those critics.
One of the very few knocks on Vicente has been his size and stature, an understandable concern for a striker. Not too long into the season he altered his diet and exercise in order to build muscle and it paid off in a big way. Since those five missed matches Vicente has played in all but one game, becoming an integral part of Gaizka Garitano’s team this season. Interestingly, he hasn’t played at his primary position of striker, but rather as a second striker or attacking midfielder where he has thrived.
With the return of his best football has come the next milestone in his career. According to a sources around the club, Iñigo Vicente will spend the preseason with the Athletic Club first team. Whoever replaces Kuko Ziganda as manager will, of course, have a say in this decision, but that isn’t expected to change anything. Gorka Guruzeta and Andoni Lopez are also expected to spend the summer with the senior squad.
Vicente has been monitored by several clubs, especially in England, but he has remained focused on reaching the Athletic senior squad. Last year he renewed his contract until 2020 which also included a release clause of €8 million. For Vicente, the question doesn’t appear to when if, but when will he finally take that next step. This season has been a great one for his development and spending the preseason with the first team will be another wonderful opportunity for the 20-year-old starlet.