Villarreal President Fernando Roig Unhappy With Athletic Club For Signing Starlet Nico Serrano
Athletic’s focus on youth development is unrivaled in today’s world of football. Due to their identity and player policy, the youth academy has long been the pillar on which the club stands and that isn’t changing anytime soon. For the most part, when young players are signed to Lezama it can be just as big of a deal as a first team transfer and that was the case back in August when Nico Serrano left Villarreal for Athletic.
The 15-year-old was already viewed as one of the best players in Spain in his age group and has been a huge success since joining Lezama. He’s scored three goals this season with the Juvenil B team and looks to have a bright future. Athletic’s gain was Villarreal’s loss. President Fernando Roig is still very unhappy that the Basques signed one of the club’s top youth prospects and wasn’t shy about his feelings in a recent interview with El Larguero De La Ser.
Roig revealed that he did not attend the customary luncheon with Athletic President Josu Urrutia and the board, when the two clubs played each other late last month, due to his anger at seeing Serrano signed from Villarreal. “We did not eat with Athletic because I didn’t want to eat with them and no one knew because Athletic didn’t make it public. I’m making it public now”, he said.
The Villarreal President also seemed to question Athletic’s Basque only policy by saying, “I don’t know if Navarra is part of the Basque Country because it’s Navarra”. He was referring to the fact that Nico Serrano was born and raised in Pamplona. Losing a promising youth player is never something that a club wants to happen, but Roig also seems to be forgetting the fact that Villarreal signed Serrano from Osasuna a few years ago. Serrano had originally joined Osasuna’s academy after getting his start at Txantrea, the same youth system where Iker Muniain began his development.
Athletic aren’t the only club that Fernando Roig is unhappy with either. He went on to say that he will not be dining with the board from Atletico Madrid after they signed Germán Valera from Villarreal’s academy. Reports now claim that Villarreal are ending their professional relationship with Atletico Madrid as a result.