Andoni López “I Feel Most Comfortable As A Left-Back”
Andoni López is officially an Almeria player after signing an extension with Athletic through 2021 and being sent to the Segunda club on loan for the 2018/2019 season. The 22-year-old is already available to manager Fran Fernández after being presented and could feature as early this weekend’s match against Tenerife. During his presentation López said that he has already talked a lot with the coach and is excited to learn from veteran defender, Nano.
“The coach and I have talked a good deal since I arrived. He wants me to play happy and be an aggressive player defensively. He wants me to be brave. As for the competition with Nano, he is a veteran and I will try to learn from him. He’s a good reference for me. In most teams it is good to have competition between youth and veterans. Maybe the young players can give things that the older ones cannot and vice versa.”
López then went on to discuss his style of play, highlighting his ability to join the attack while also making defense the top priority. When asked about playing center-back during the preseason under Eduardo Berizzo, the Lezama product admitted that he is more comfortable at left-back and would like to continue in that position.
“I like to attack and defend, to move up the field and be involved with the play. I have the capacity for offense and defense. I will pay where the coach puts me. In the preseason I was used as a left center-back because of the lack of players. The coach decided to try me out there, but where I have always played and where I feel most comfortable is at left-back.
Athletic view Andoni López as someone who could become an important player at the San Mamés in the future, which makes this season vitally important. If the 22-year-old is able to put in a solid year on loan he will be able to come back to Bilbao next summer and challenge for a place in the first team. For that to happen he must seek to improve everyday and continue his development while in the second division.