Xabi Etxeita Officially Leaves Athletic Club
Xabi Etxeita’s loan move to Huesca last summer came as something of a surprise. The center-back had played a consistent role, albeit as a backup, with the Lions for several years but an exit was a mutual agreement. With European competition not on the cards, the club knew that Etxeita/s chances would be limited while the defender was also clear that he wanted to play regular football.
The move to Huesca was a massive success for Etxeita who was quickly given the captain’s armband. In total, the 31-year-old featured in 32 matches and scores 4 goals in the process. Etxeita proved once again that he can play at a high level in the Primera and there has been questions asked over his future with Athletic holding an option to automatically renew his contract for another year.
There was a very good chance that qualifying for Europe would have seen Etxeita continue at San Mamés. Doing so would have provided needed depth in depth, but failing to finish in the top 7 has been decisive. Athletic have made their decision and officially announced on Tuesday that Etxeita will be leaving the club when his contract expires on 30 June.
Xabi Etxeita is the 5th confirmed exit this summer following Markel Susaeta, Ander Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, and Sabin Merino. Etxeita leaves Athletic after 7 years with the first team where he made 140 appearances, scored 8 goals, and lifted the 2015 Spanish Super Cup.