Several Key Players Left Out Of The Squad For Athletic Club’s First Preseason Friendly
The excitement in Bilbao is palpable. After nearly two weeks of preseason training the Lions will play their first friendly of the summer on Thursday against local Basque club, Amorebieta. Fans are looking forward to see how the players are getting along under new manager Eduardo Berizzo and anxious to put last year’s disappointing season in the past.
Athletic officially announced the squad list that will play against Amorebieta on Thursday and the first thing that stood out was the absence of several key players. Aritz Aduriz, Raúl García, Iker Muniain, Iñaki Williams, Mikel San José, Xabi Etxeita, Oscar De Marcos, and Yuri Berchiche were all left out of the squad, as well as Unai Simón who is expected to leave on loan soon. Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is still on vacation, and the injury Iñigo Martinez were also unavailable for the match.
Most of the absentees are expected to play during Sunday’s friendly against Barakaldo, but for the moment the group of names is telling. The seven players left out of the squad all look to be major contributors in Berizzo’s team and the Argentine may be using the opportunity to see other players perform in the first match of the summer. With so many players missing out it will give others the chance to step up, especially the young ones called up to train with the first team.
With a squad of 23 players for Thursday’s match Berizzo will likely field a completely different lineup in both halves with some players moving around due to only having two true center-backs. Fans will be sure to have their eyes on the new signings, young stars, and the recently renewed Unai López is coming off of a great season on loan with Rayo Vallecano. At the end of the day, the most important thing will be seeing just how well the team has grasped Berizzo’s system and what the cohesiveness looks like at this point.
The squad for Thursday’s friendly against Amorebieta is as follows:
Unai Núñez, Yeray, Beñat, Ander Iturraspe, Iñigo Córdoba, Asier Villalibre, Iago Herrerín, Markel Susaeta, Iñigo Lekue, Mikel Rico, Sabin Merino, Dani García, Unai López, Mikel Balenziaga, Ander Capa, Alex Remiro, Cristian Ganea, Andoni López, Gorka Guruzeta, Peru Nolaskoain, Iñigo Vicente, Iñigo Muñoz and Oihan Sancet.