Cristian Ganea Could Be The Solution To Eduardo Berizzo’s Left-Back Dilemma Against Levante

Cristian Ganea

Cristian Ganea made his Athletic debut against Huesca (Marca)

Eduardo Berizzo has a problem on his hands as Athletic travel to the Estadi Ciutat de Valéncia on Monday for an important match against Levante. With Mikel Balenziaga ruled out due a hamstring injury and Yuri Berchiche still suspended for two more league games, the manager has to decided what to do at the left-back position. He has several options to choose from but Cristian Ganea could be the best solution.

Sources claim that Berizzo has no intention to start Iñigo Martinez at left-back at this time. Instead he is considering Ganea, Oscar De Marcos, and Ander Capa for the starting role on Monday night. Iñigo Lekue would likely be an option as well, but he just recently returned from a fractured ankle and hasn’t even been in the squad a single time this season.

De Marcos and Capa are both accomplished right-backs so making the switch to the left for one game shouldn’t be that difficult in theory. Both players have been trusted by the coach more than Ganea this season, but the Romanian’s comfort level and familiarity with the left-back role could see him finally make his first start of his Athletic career. If Thursday’s training session is any measure, Ganea may be the top choice right now.

The 26-year-old made his debut on Wednesday against Huesca and looked sharp. He was able to attack down the left wing, put in good crosses, and wasn’t afraid to take on defenders. He’s been working hard in training and patiently waiting for his chance. Berizzo has praised Ganea’s professionalism and dedication this season and it could all pay off on Monday night against Levante.

As far as the rest of the lineup is concerned there shouldn’t be many changes from the match against Huesca. Iago Herrerín will return to goal while Unai Nuñez will take Peru Nolaskoain’s place alongside Iñigo Martinez in defense. The midfield is expected to remain intact while Markel Susaeta will take Gorka Guruzeta’s spot on the wing. The Zurigorri desperately need a win to climb out of the relegation zone and fans are hoping that their 4-0 win on Wednesday signaled a turning point in the season.

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