Athletic Announces that Tarsi Aguado, Unai Bilbao, Oscar Gil, Dopi, and Oli Are Leaving Bilbao Athletic
Bilbao Athletic enjoyed a remarkable first season under Gaizka Garitano as the Cachorros qualified for the promotional playoffs. Sadly, they were eliminated in the first round by Villarreal B, but that should not take away from the growth that the team showed throughout the course of the campaign. Now that the season is officially over, the club will now have some difficult decisions to make regarding the squad. On Tuesday, Athletic announced that five players from Bilbao Athletic are leaving the club, as well as several who were out on loan.
Tarsi Aguado, Unai Bilbao, Oscar Gil, Jon Ander Dopico “Dopi”, and Andoni Fernandez “Oli” are all leaving Bilbao Athletic this summer. The first three played significant roles in Garitano’s team this season, while the last two saw sporadic minutes are substitutes. In addition, the following players who were away on loan this year will also be leaving the club: Markel Lozano (Arenas), Jon Agirrezabala (Amorebieta), Mikel Murgoitio (Gernika), Iker Bilbao (Gernika), Asier Parra ( Sestao) and Alvaro Mateo (Sodupe).
For most of these players the departure makes sense. Aguado, Dopi, and Oli did not have a path to the first team and will now be free to leave in order to seek minutes elsewhere and continue their careers. Meanwhile, Oscar Gil and Unai Bilbao are curious decisions, especially the later. They formed a solid pairing in the center of defense and many even thought that Unai Bilbao had shown enough promise to potentially spend the summer with the first team and push Xabi Etxeita for a place in the team. Regardless, their futures now lie away from Athletic.
The most interesting part of Athletic’s announcement was the name that wasn’t mentioned. It was recently reported that midfielder Iker Undabarrena was going to leave the club this summer after the club opted not to trigger a clause in his contract that would automatically renew his deal for another season and promote him to the first team. If he were in fact not renewing his contract then his name should have been listed among the other players. At this point it looks like the 22-year-old may still be negotiating with Athletic, which would be a welcome sight for such a promising young player.