Gorka Guruzeta And Peru Nolaskoain Will Play With Bilbao Athletic This Weekend Against Mirandés

Gorka Guruzeta

Gorka Guruzeta celebrates his first goal for Athletic in the Copa del Rey (AC)

The season started in an exciting way for Gorka Guruzeta and Peru Nolaskoain. The pair were stars at Bilbao Athletic the previous year and were officially promoted to the first team under manager Eduardo Berizzo. Nolaskoain made the transition to center-back and scored a goal on his debut while Guruzeta was getting somewhat regular minutes off the bench. They were started to carve out their own roles in the squad but that hasn’t been the case lately.

With Yeray and Iñigo Martinez forming one of the best center-back pairings in La Liga, and Unai Nuñez the main backup, Nolaskoain hasn’t had played any minutes since Gaizka Garitano took over as the manager in early December. Likewise, Guruzeta was used sparingly, albeit starting in the Copa del Rey. However, the 22-year-old hasn’t seen the field at all since Kenan Kodro was signed in January.

It’s important that both players get regular minutes to continue their development and Athletic have found a way to make that happen. On Thursday the club announced that the pair will play with Bilbao Athletic over the weekend instead of just being left out of the first team squad entirely. This isn’t a new thing for Nolaskoain who has been regularly playing with the reserve side.

The situation is a bit different for Guruzeta who had offers to go on loan in the Segunda over the summer but those were rejected as the striker was expected to play a more important role in the first team. The decision was also made that he wouldn’t play with Bilbao Athletic again, but that has now changed. It’s important for him to be on the field as much as possible and that isn’t happening under Garitano.

“Since Kodro has arrived Guruzeta hasn’t played”, Garitano explained on Thursday. “We think it’s good for him to have minutes and from time to time he can play with Bilbao Athletic.” While it’s important for both players to have minutes it’s also going to give Bilbao Athletic a serious boost. This weekend the Karxorros will travel to take on 2nd placed Mirandés and they will be looking for their first win outside of Lezama under manager Aritz Solabarrieta. Guruzeta and Nolaskoain could play a major role in reaching that goal.

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