Mikel San José “Nobody Can Doubt That Garitano’s Renewal Is Fully Deserved”
Over the past few weeks, the Athletic players have voiced their support for manager Gaizka Garitano, saying that they hoped he would continue at the club next season. It seemed as though a renewal was only a matter of time, which has proved true. On Thursday morning Athletic officially announced that Garitano has signed an extension through next season and the news has been met with much joy.
“Nobody can doubt that Gaizka’s renewal is fully deserved”, Mikel San José told Radio Marca. “The growth of the team has gone hand in hand with him and Patxi. We can’t deny any of that. The team is very happy with how we’ve been working with him because things are going well. The renewal is a reflection that things have been good, that his work has been good and that he deserved it.”
Garitano’s renewal will allow the club to start planning for next season and the players know it. “Now we have to continue winning matches so that next year he and the team will have another competition to play in. Gaizka will be free from now on to plan based on the squad he wants to have. We’ve been forced to say that we are aspiring for Europe, but now there is a demand to fight for it. As always, we need to win games to fight for better things.” San José will, of course, be part of those plans for next season as he has played very well under the Mister.
Now the focus turns to Aritz Aduriz who has yet to sign a renewal for next season. The striker has been sidelined for the past 3 months with a knee injury but has since returned to training and could be back on the field very soon. “Aduriz could have played against Levante had it been necessary, but it was preferred not to take the risk”, San José revealed. “He’s calm. He’s had a recovery process that, at first, seemed less serious. He’s training well and, although he’s not 100%, I’m sure we’ll see him in the squad soon.”
San José has a great relationship with Aduriz, though he doesn’t know if the 38-year-old will choose to retire. “Regarding whether he will continue next season or not, it’s totally secret because he is very reserved and he hasn’t told us anything. He’s fine and he looks good. He will decide if he wants to continue, but as long as his body doesn’t resist him I think he will give us a lot. Hopefully, his body will allow him to continue with us for at least one more year.” Athletic have already put an offer on the table and it will be up to Aduriz to make the decision.