Markel Susaeta Still Waiting For A New Contract
Gaizka Garitano made several changes after becoming the Athletic manager back in early December. He switched the defense from man-marking to an organized zone, focused more on direct attacks instead of keeping possession, and reshaped the lineup with some players enjoying more minutes and others being left on the sidelines. Markel Susaeta is one of those who has been negatively affected my the coaching change and he’s still waiting to see what his future holds.
Under Eduardo Berizzo the 31-year-old played heavy minutes. He featured in 13 of the 14 games under the previous manager, starting 10 times, and was an important part of the system. Now with Garitano at the helm Susaeta’s chances have plummeted. The winger hasn’t seen the field in the last 6 league games and was instead used during the Copa del Rey where he made his 500th appearance for the club.
Garitano has chosen to use Oscar De Marcos and Ibai Gómez on the right wing which has seen Susaeta relegated to the bench. When Aritz Aduriz returns healthy it could also see Iñaki Williams pushed out wide which would create even more competition at the position. Simply put, Susaeta’s chances to play are not going to get any better throughout the rest of the season.
Susaeta’s more limited role comes at an interesting time with the captain currently in the final months of his contract. His deal is set to expire on 30 June and he and the club have yet to start negotiations for a new deal. The Lezama product has said multiple times that he wants to continue at the San Mamés and the belief is that negotiations would be very straight forward and simple. It may only be a matter of time before he puts pen to paper on a new contract, but for now there is nothing.