Iñigo Vicente And Unai Vencedor Sign Contract Renewals With Athletic Club Through 2023
Lezama is the lifeblood of Athletic. The club has always put a heavy emphasis on youth development and every year new starlets get their chance with the first team. One of the most prolific and promising players to come through the academy in recent memory is Iñigo Vicente, now viewed as the best young player at the club. The 20-year-old has been scouted by many top clubs in Europe, but has now committed his future to Athletic.
On Friday morning Athletic officially announced that Iñigo Vicente has signed a contract renewal through 2023. His previous deal was set to expire in 2020 and the club wanted to reward the attacker with an improved contract, as well as increase his release clause which has now risen from €8 million to €40 million. The extension also guarantees that Vicente will train with the first team next summer and, if he isn’t able to earn a place in the squad, will be sent on loan.
This season Vicente has scored 6 goals and given 7 assists while standing out as arguably the best player in Spain’s Segunda B. Many clubs have scouted the playmaker, namely Manchester United who sent Toni Lima to watch Vicente in person when Bilbao Athletic faced Barakaldo a few weeks ago. It’s no secret that Vicente has turned heads in Europe, however he’s never had any intention of leaving Athletic.
Vicente joined Lezama back in 2013 after leaving Danok Bat, but had other offers. Real Madrid wanted to sign the starlet at the time but the player chose Athletic. Since then he’s been an absolute star at the academy, breaking scoring records along the way with an eye always set on reaching the first team. Over the summer he was called up to train with the senior squad before ultimately returning to Bilbao Athletic. Now his development appears to be coming to an end as he will have the chance to carve out a role at the San Mamés next season.
If Iñigo Vicente is the top youth player at Athletic, Unai Vencedor is probably next in line. The 18-year-old midfielder was promoted to Bilbao Athletic over the summer from the club’s Juvenil A team and was an immediate star. Despite his age and inexperience he has been a vitally important player for the Katxorros and one of the best midfielders in the league. He’s shown the ability to read the game, control possession, win back balls, and create chances with his passing and it seems like only a matter of time before he’s competing with the first team.
Last month it was revealed that several clubs in England had been scouting Vencedor and at least one was ready to pay his release clause which was set at just under €2 million. Then reports claimed that the 18-year-old was preparing to sign an extension with Athletic which the club confirmed on Friday as well. Unai Vencedor has also signed a contract renewal through 2023 with rumors suggesting that his release clause has also been raised to €40 million.
Both Vicente and Vencedor are viewed as future stars of the San Mamés and it was no secret that other clubs were watching the pair. However, neither player had any intention to leave Athletic and have now committed their future to their club. Next summer they will train with the first team as they look to earn promotions and take the next step in their football careers.