Six Bilbao Athletic Players Will Spend The Preseason With The First Team
New Athletic manager Eduardo Berizzo is already preparing for preseason training. In fact, he’s been putting plans together over the last two months and is ready to get to work. With new signings and some returning on loan, he will have a squad of 29 players this summer, which is clearly too many to take into the season. That being said, he has always been a coach that likes to incorporate young players into the team, which fits perfectly at Athletic. On Friday the club announced that six players from Bilbao Athletic will officially spend the summer with the first team.
Goalkeeper Unai Simón spent last summer training with the first team and will do so again this year. He has been the starter at Bilbao Athletic for two consecutive seasons and many believe that he is ready to face competition in the Segunda. He will be joined by defender Andoni López who has been widely viewed as the left-back of the future. He actually made his debut with the senior squad earlier this year and will be given the chance to fight for a place in the team.
Starlet midfielder Peru Nolaskoain is the third to join the senior squad this summer and has been named to the first team squad on occasion, although he has yet made his debut. Still only 19 years old, he has shown signs of being someone really special. Forwards Gorka Guruzeta, Iñigo Vicente, and Iñigo Muñoz will also train under Berizzo during preseason with the first two having a realistic shot at a permanent place in the team. Guruzeta led Bilbao Athletic in scoring this season with 18 goals, although Vicente wasn’t far behind with 10 of his own.
Interestingly, Iker Undabarrena’s name continues to be missing from official statements. It was believed that he was leaving the club this summer, but was not mentioned when Athletic announced the players that aren’t getting contract renewals. Many took that as a sign that he was, in fact, being renewed and would join the first team this summer, but once again he was not mentioned. Regardless of what happens, the six players that have been called by Berizzo are all deserving and will gain valuable experience this summer.