Asier Villalibre Doesn’t Want To Be The Next Aritz Aduriz

Asier Villalibre was tipped to be the next big thing at Athletic Club but the 20-year-old hasn’t been able to break into the first team as of yet. In August he was sent on loan to Real Valladolid but was unable to hold down a regular place in the lineup. In order to get more consistent minutes he left in January to join Lorca on loan and things have gone a bit better. Over the weekend he scored his first goal of the year in a 3-2 victory over Granada, but the Lezama product again rubbished the claim that he is the successor to Aritz Aduriz.


Asier Villalibre in training with Lorca (Lorca FC)

“We all hope to score goals, but I don’t want to put pressure on it. I don’t have that in my head. I have to improve, try to score goals clearly, but above all I want to leave here a better footballer than when I arrived. I have improved a lot since leaving Lezama last August. It’s been a little bit of everything physically, tactically, technically so I wouldn’t highlight anything in particular. I’ve never thought of myself as the successor to Aduriz. I’ve always said that thinking that way is something very big because it is difficult to reach his level. I don’t want to be Aduriz’s substitute, I want to be Asier Villalibre and I’ll do everything I can to be my best.”

Villalibre admitted that things have been better since joining Lorca, calling it a time to clear his head. This summer he wants to return to Athletic and fight for a place in the team, but he knows that the competition will make that very difficult. He was also asked about fellow Lezama striker Gorka Guruzeta who will spend the preseason with the first team and Villalibre had only words of praise for his former teammate.

“The move to Lorca has gone well. It has helped me clear my head and I feel better. This summer when I return to Athletic I will go with hope because the competition doesn’t stop. I will work as hard as possible to stay so right now I have to work to improve. Guruzeta? We played together and he is a very good player and just as good a person. Guru can play wherever he wants – winger, playmaker, striker. We get along very well and I wish him all the best”

Villalibre will have his work cut out for him this summer as he attempts to earn a permanent place in the first team. There are a lot of great players standing in his way, but there is also a need for more attacking depth in the squad. For now the 20-year-old will continue working hard to improve so that he will be at his absolute best when the preseason officially begins.

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