With Kepa Leaving For Chelsea, Iago Herrerín And Alex Remiro Are Ready For Their Chance
With Kepa Arrizabalaga set to sign with Chelsea there is now a massive hole to fill at Athletic Club. The 23-year-old had already established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga and was viewed as the present and future at the San Mamés. Now the baton has been passed to Iago Herrerin and Alex Remiro to fill the void and they are up for the challenge.
During Kepa’s debut season with the first team, Herrerín left in January to join Leganés on loan. He was handed a starting role at the club and proved to be more than capable of playing every week in the Primera. He has also featured heavily in Europe and has shown the quality needed to start for Athletic. Earlier this summer he made it clear that he didn’t want to be a backup again this season and that may not even be an issue anymore.
On the other hand, Alex Remiro has been in Kepa’s shadow since the two were young boys at Lezama. Despite Kepa’s brilliance, Remiro has always been right behind in terms of quality. He spent last year on loan with Huesca and was by far the best goalkeeper in the Segunda. Remiro is now ready to prove himself in the top flight and may finally get that chance with Kepa no longer standing in his way.
Up until this point Remiro has rejected offers to sign a contract extension with Athletic. His current deal is set to expire next summer and, with Kepa in place, he didn’t believe that he had a real future at the club. Now Remiro could very well become the present and future at the position and all eyes will be focused on whether or not the two sides can finally come to an agreement on a renewal. Losing Kepa may be a huge disappointment for Athletic, but it could also be the best thing to happen to Alex Remiro.
Manager Eduardo Berizzo will now have a big decision to make. Herrerín and Remiro will be given the chance to battle for the starting role, but Herrerín will likely have the upper hand at the moment due to the fact that Athletic were trying to work out a loan move for Remiro. Still, Toto is going to give minutes to whoever is playing better so both keepers are real options to replace Kepa. Losing the 23-year-old to Chelsea is definitely a tough pill to swallow, but Athletic have options in place. The biggest question may actually be what will the club do with the €80 million they will be receiving.