Is Iago Herrerín In Danger Of Losing His Starting Role To Unai Simón?
Many Athletic fans were not happy when Iago Herrerín took Unai Simón’s place in the starting lineup. The 21-year-old had been playing at a high level, but Eduardo Berizzo gave the starting role back to Herrerín as soon as he had been given the medical clearance needed to return from his biceps injury. Despite Simón’s impressive performances the change shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise.
Herrerín boasted experience that Simón did not have and the 30-year-old would later reveal that, when he was first injured, Berizzo told him that he would be the starter when he came back. Herrerín walked back into the lineup with the understanding that it would be his job to lose. After five games he may actually be in danger of seeing that happen.
Through his five games so far this season Herrerín hasn’t looked his best. He hasn’t played poorly, to be fair, but he also hasn’t been the same player as before his injury. The biggest issues with the 30-year-old are that he has struggled to deal with long shots – mainly due to positioning – and has sometimes appeared shaky on attempts that should be routine. The goalkeeper has already been doubted a few times for surrendering a goal while Simón seemed as though he couldn’t make a mistake.
In all honesty, Herrerín has been under the microscope since coming back into the starting lineup. Simón was playing at such a high level that the move didn’t seem necessary and every single goal and save has been over analyzed. Herrerín truly hasn’t played badly this season, but he also hasn’t been able to match the performances of Simón who made world class saves every game and that has become noticeable.
Coming out of the international break Herrerín will likely been watched even more closely. At this point it doesn’t appear as though Berizzo is looking to make a change, but Simón is patiently waiting for his chance to get back into the lineup. With Athletic struggling to pick up points the manager could eventually look to shake things up and fans will certainly be calling for Simón to be put back in the starting lineup.