Iñaki Williams “I Would Love To Be The Successor To Aduriz, But I Want To Keep Learning From Him”
Iñaki Williams has enjoyed a long stretch of playing as the striker for Athletic with Aritz Aduriz currently sidelined with a knee injury. The 24-year-old has done quite well and is starting to show that he could be the answer there in the future. That’s certainly his goal, as he told Fuera de Juego on Tuesday night, but the Lezama product still wants to learn as much as he can from Aduriz.
“I work hard to be the 9 of Athletic. I feel very comfortable playing there. Aduriz always helps me. I would love to be the successor to Aduriz, but he’s got years of football left and I want to keep learning from him and for him to continue giving me advice. When Aduriz returns from his injury the Mister will have to decide if I will continue as the 9 or if I will move over to the wing. If he puts me back on the wing I’ll accept it because what I want is to play. Little by little I’m improving, although I still have a lot to learn. I’m not my best version yet.”
By keeping himself in great shape, and because of his genetics, Iñaki has managed to play in 106 straight league games. He’s very proud of the accomplishment and says that Gaizka Garitano is allowing him to play to his strengths while also protecting his stamina throughout matches.
“I am very proud to have managed to play 106 games in a row. I have to give thanks to my parents for the genetics they gave me. Garitano is also taking good care of me. The team is telling him to play me longer and he wants to utilize my strengths. I can’t fall out of plays because in just 1 meter I can escape a defender. I have seen the match against Sevilla a few times. It’s one of my best games. I freed myself by running and that created chances.”
Athletic have significantly improved under Garitano and are now in the conversation to challenge for Europe this season. Iñaki recognizes that many of the players didn’t know what it was like to battle against relegation earlier this season and says that they never want to go through that ever again.
“The team is doing very well. We came from a pretty bad place and now we can look ahead. We can fight for great things but we have to play every game as if it were the last. It’s been a complicated season, especially for the younger players. We were used to fighting in Europe and we were not aware of what it was like suffering at the bottom of the table. We don’t want to live that again. Garitano’s ideas have fit perfectly with the team.”
Iñaki Williams has said on several occasions that he wants to become a legend at the San Mamés and has no plans to leave Athletic despite interest from other clubs. He sees himself having a rich future with the Zurigorri and hopes to one day share the field with his brother who is currently playing for the Juvenil B team at Lezama. “My brother Nico is progressing”, Iñaki said. “He’s got a lot left to learn. He has to study, work hard, and strive. I hope that we can play together one day.”