Iñaki Williams “I Hope To Explode This Year”
The La Liga season is rapidly approaching and Iñaki Williams is anxious for things to get underway. On Friday the forward took the time to address the media and was asked about the fact that he has played in multiple positions this summer. The 24-year-old admitted that he still wants to become the team’s striker and realizes that Aritz Aduriz is the reference point for everyone.
“I’ve always said that I like playing as a forward. I’ve been a nine since I was little, but we have our reference in Aritz [Aduriz]. He’s been scoring a lot of goals over the past years. It’s complicated, but with hard work everything will come together. I’m sure that in the future I can be the striker that the team needs. That is my biggest hope.”
Iñaki went on to state that he knows what the fans demand of him. He has to improve his finishing in front of goal and has been getting advice from Aduriz. Despite the goal draught, he doesn’t feel the pressure and is demanding more from himself this season.
“We know what the fans will demand of us. I have many games where I have chances to score and I hope to explode this year. I want to keep improving and enjoying my chances. My goal draught doesn’t weigh on me. I’m calm and I try to help the team in every way that I can. As a striker you have to have an eye for goal and I am demanding myself to finish the season with more goals.”
Looking at the team as a whole, Iñaki believes that the squad is very strong and that Athletic’s style of play can lead to big things this year. The ultimate goal is to qualify for Europe, which won’t be easy, but the Lezama product believes that the team has everything needed to finish in the top six once again.
“The team is doing well and looks strong. Defensive errors have penalized us but they have been corrected. We play with pressure and take risks, but when we steal the ball we are closer to the goal and generate chances. We will be a team that is direct and will score a lot of goals. Athletic will be an offense team. The coach is very confident in me. I’m comfortable playing on the left and we are going to try to take advantage of that wing. We are ambitious. Qualifying for Europe is going to be difficult because everyone has strong teams. We have been there the last few years and our goal is to get back. We have everything needed to accomplish that goal.”
In closing, Iñaki was asked about Kepa Arrizabalaga’s decision to leave Athletic Club in order to join Chelsea. He admitted that he is still close friends with the goalkeeper, but is confident that the team will be able to cover his position with Iago Herrerín and Alex Remiro still at the club.
“Kepa is my friend. We’ve spent a lot of time together and he is a great goalkeeper. His decision was personal and we cannot speculate about it. From here I wish him luck, but it is important to know that we have great goalkeepers in the team and I’m sure Kepa’s place will be covered.”
Athletic will officially begin their La Liga season on Monday when they will play host to Leganés at the San Mamés. Despite being introduced back into training, Iñigo Martinez is expected to miss the match, as will Iago Herrerín who could miss as much as two months with a biceps injury. Still, Eduardo Berizzo will be able to field a very strong lineup as the Lions will be looking to earn all three points to start the campaign.