Gaizka Larrazabal Showing Impressive Development In Second Season With Bilbao Athletic
Back in the summer of 2017 Gaizka Larrazabal left Zamudio to sign with Bilbao Athletic. The then 19-year-old winger had shown flashes of brilliance, scoring 3 goals in 29 appearances, and was set to play an important role under manager Gaizka Garitano. He brought high expectations with him, being the son of club legend Aitor Larrazabal, and has since established himself as one of the stars of the reserve team.
His first year at Bilbao Athletic was exciting as he enjoyed regular playing time and transitioned to life at Lezama. With starlets like Gorka Guruzeta and Iñigo Vicente in the team he was able to play a supporting role and would score two goals in his debut season. He excelled at taking on defenders, crossing the ball, and finishing in front of goal, but was still a raw player. The winger split time with Iñigo Muñoz, who was also a new signing, as Bilbao Athletic earned a place in the promotional playoffs.
This season Larrazabal has turned an impressive corner in his development. Due to the fact that Muñoz spent the summer training with the first team he was given the starting role at the beginning of the campaign, but it wouldn’t take Larrazabal long to earn his place in the lineup. Since then he’s become a vitally important player for Garitano and is thriving under the pressure and responsibility.
Larrazabal has featured in 14 games this season and has been directly involved in nine goals – scoring five times and providing four assists. He’s playing with a confidence that has made him a dangerous attacker while also showing immense development in the defensive aspect of his game. Over the past year the winger has grown substantially and is a much more well-rounded and mature footballer this season. If not for sharing the ball with Asier Villalibre and Iñigo Vicente he would likely be the talk of Bilbao Athletic right now, but that shouldn’t detract from his performances.
Athletic will have a close eye on Larrazabal throughout the remainder of the season. If he continues to play at such a high level there is a real good chance that he could be called up to train with the first team next summer and he would certainly deserve it. The 20-year-old looks to have a very bright future ahead of him, but right now he is singularly focused on helping Bilbao Athletic fight for their place in the promotional playoffs.