Asier Villalibre Will Reportedly Sign Contract Renewal With Athletic Club
The decision to send Asier Villalibre back to Bilbao Athletic last summer has been a massive success. At the time the young striker was returning from a third loan spell and had essentially lost his confidence and was a shadow of the player that debuted with the first time back in 2016. Villalibre was given the chance to stay home and it proved to be just what he needed.
This season Villalibre has already scored 22 goals for Bilbao Athletic while also registering 5 assists. Still just 21 years old, he’s been absolutely phenomenal in the Segunda B and is once again showing that he has the potential to be a first team player. His future is certainly bright, but for the past few weeks it’s also been uncertain.
Athletic began contract renewal negotiations with Villalibre several weeks ago and Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta recently revealed that the striker had an offer on the table. It would be up to Villalibre to decide whether to sign a new deal or let his contract expire and leave the club. It hasn’t been an easy decision with interest from Poland and two other leagues.
Villalibre has always dreamed of succeeding at Athletic, but his path has been blocked. Iñaki Williams has solidified his place as the team’s starting striker with Kenan Kodro being signed back in January. There’s also uncertainty over the future of Aritz Aduriz who could continue at the club next season. Despite the competition, it now appears as though a decision has been made.
Asier Villalibre will sign a contract extension with Athletic Club, reports Javier Beltrán of AS. The 21-year-old will be a permanent first-team player and will fight for his place in the squad this summer. With Sabin Merino leaving the club and Gorka Guruzeta recovering from a torn ACL, Villalibre will have a better chance of earning a role in the team. Understandably, he doesn’t want to leave on loan again and is determined to prove himself at Athletic.
Because he was sent back to Bilbao Athletic, a clause has prevented Villalibre from being able to play with the first team this season. Some believe that, had he been able to, the club may not have looked to sign Kodro in January. Still, Villalibre has trained with the first team at times, including this week, and has a great relationship with manager Gaizka Garitano who was integral in helping the striker rediscover his confidence and form this year.