Athletic Looking To Add Depth On The Wings This Summer
This summer will be extremely important for Athletic. After failing to qualify for Europe for a second straight year, the Lions are in need of revitalization. Being unable to bring in extra money from competing in Europe definitely makes things more difficult, as does a very large wage bill. The club will find it hard to complete any transfers during the window but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
According to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, the club is already probing the market in hopes of signing a winger this summer. Iñigo Córdoba and Ibai Gómez are viewed as the only true wingers in the team with Iker Muniain and Oscar De Marcos capable of playing there, but Gaizka Garitano would like more options and preferably someone who is younger and able to develop more.
The report goes on to explain that Athletic have their eyes on a few potential options, but those players haven’t been revealed. Numancia’s Alain Oyarzun could certainly be one target with Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta having already admitted that he is being monitored. Osasuna’s Kike Barja has long had Athletic’s interest as well, but that deal would be more complicated with the Navarran’s having just earned promotion to the Primera. Alex Berenguer could also be a target, though his anti-Athletic clause at Torino will surely make the signing more difficult.
Garitano could also turn to youth to add depth. Gaizka Larrazabal will be promoted to the first team this summer and will have the chance to earn a place in the squad. The same is true for Iñigo Vicente, though he is seen in the same way as Muniain who is more suited to play inside. It will ultimately be up to Garitano to decide if the club needs any outside reinforcements or if youth is the answer.