Gaizka Larrazabal Currently Negotiating Renewal With Athletic, Expected To Be In The Squad Against Rayo Vallecano

Gaizka Larrazabal

Gaizka Larrazabal has scored 9 goals this season (EC)

Athletic see a lot of potential in Gaizka Larrazabal. The Bilbao Athletic winger has already scored 9 goals this season, adding 6 assists, and has proven that he could have a very bright future in football. His current contract is set to expire this summer and clubs like Alavés and Eibar have already shown interest in signing him. Athletic have no plans of letting him leave.

According to a report from Javier Beltrán of El Correo, Athletic and Larrazabal have already been in renewal talks for a few weeks. The 21-year-old wants to stay at the club and fight for a place at San Mamés. If an agreement is reached he would train with the first team during the summer and, depending on whether or not Markel Susaeta leaves, could realistically have a chance at convincing Gaizka Garitano.

With Susaeta’s future at Athletic up in the air, Larrazabal is quickly emerging as a natural successor. He’s fast, strong, can strike the ball with both feet, create chances, and score goals. At times he’s been compared to Ander Capa, though with much more attacking abilities. Larrazabal would be able to provide much of the same qualities as Susaeta, but is very young and still has a lot of development ahead.

As negotiations continue Larrazabal could also be preparing for his debut. With Capa and Ibai Gómez currently injured, Larrazabal actually trained with the first team on Thursday and is expected to be in the squad for Sunday’s match against Rayo Vallecano. If that is the case, he would theoretically be competing against Susaeta to make the starting lineup on the right wing.

One comment

  • Do players in Spain generally develop later than in the UK? Larrazabal is 21, yet reading the article it sounds like you’re talking about a 17 or 18-year-old. I know there are exceptions (Iker Muniain and Iker Casillas are the ones that immediately spring to mind), but I often get the feeling that even players like 27-year-old Sabin Merino are spoken of like they’re callow youths straight out of the juvenils. Guruzeta’s another one. He’s 22, yet it appears to me he’s expected to have another two or three seasons before he’s a serious consideration for a regular place in the first team.

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