Athletic Club sign Barcelona Goalkeeper Jokin Ezkieta
Athletic Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta is already hard at work preparing for next season and there are many big decisions that must be made. A few players will be leaving, transfer targets have been identified, and the club is hoping to continue it’s impressive run with Gaizka Garitano at the helm. Alkorta has regularly shared his desire to bring in the best Basque players around and has already sealed the signing of one young star.
Earlier this month it was reported that the Lions were looking to sign Barcelona B goalkeeper Jokin Ezkieta and a deal has since been struck. According to a report from Javier Beltrán of El Correo, Athletic have finalized the signing of the 22-year-old who rejected an offer to renew his contract with Barcelona and will be coming on a free transfer.
Athletic have been following Ezkieta for a few years now with the goalkeeper having joined Barcelona from Osasuna’s academy back in 2015. He is known for his composure, ability with the ball at his feet, and a knack for making big saves. This season he shared minutes at Barcelona B with Iñaki Peña before suffering a hand fracture in late March but also spent some time with the first team.
Ezkieta is viewed as a possible replacement for Alex Remiro and will spend the summer training with the first team. In theory, he will be the squad’s third goalkeeper behind Iago Herrerín and Unai Simón, though he could play for Bilbao Athletic next season or go on loan somewhere in the Segunda. Hodei Oleaga will also train under Garitano and is expected to leave on loan as well.
Interestingly, Ezkieta is the third goalkeeper that Athletic has signed within the last few days. On Thursday the Lions finalized a deal for Leioa starlet Gorka Campo who will join CD Basconia as well as 15-year-old Álex Padilla from Zarautz KE. Like every other player at Lezama, the trio will be given every opportunity to succeed at the club.