Unai Simón Is Taking Advantage Of His Opportunity With The First Team
The past few months have been the most hectic time of Unai Simón’s young career. He signed a contract extension with Athletic Club, left to join Elche on loan, was recalled by the Lions, and had been the first team starting goalkeeper through the first two games of the season. It’s been more than enough to make anyone’s head spin but Simón has faced it all with composite and is taking advantage of the opportunity.
Through the first games Simón has surrendered three goals, but none of them have been his fault. The first game when a shot from Leganés rebounded off of Oscar De Marcos and into the back of the net. In the game against Huesca both goals came from outside of the box with Simón unable to see the first one and the second being just a fantastic volley into the top corner.
Not only has Simón managed to not make any real mistakes, he’s continued to grow in his confidence. His positioning has been great, his reflexes strong, and he was much more vocal in the second match. Even his biggest weakness, which has always been the tendency to spill saves which can lead to second chances, hasn’t really been showing up. The 21-year-old has also made some truly impressive saves that could, or should, have led to goals.
Going into the first game a lot of fans made it a point to say that Simón is playing with no pressure because all of the focus was on Alex Remiro. While there wasn’t really much expectation placed on his shoulders, the claim that starting your first game in goal at the San Mamés carries no pressure is absolutely ludicrous. All eyes were on Simón and fingers were crossed that he wouldn’t be the cause of something bad. Not only has that that not happened, he’s looked quite impressive through two matches and that is something to build on.
Once Iago Herrerín returns from injury or Alex Remiro decides to sing his renewal Simón will most likely be taken out of the starting lineup. That being said, he’s already showed that he can handle the pressure and is confident in his ability. The last two weeks have been a coming of age for Unai Simón who is proving that he can become a very important player in the future. If he continues to play well he will make a name for himself at the San Mamés. He may have been thrown into the fire over the last few weeks, but Simón is handling things much better than anyone could have imagined.