Garitano Puts Faith In Dani Vivian, Peru Nolaskoain Expected To Spend Next Season Away On Loan
Dani Vivian has enjoyed a meteoric rise since signing for CD Basconia back in 2016. Coming from Santutxu the young center-back was a promising talent, though he was rarely mentioned in the same breath as the top prospects at Athletic. He would go on to make 30 appearances in his first campaign and last season established himself as one of the leaders in the Bilbao Athletic team. Always dedicated to hard work, Vivian proved himself.
The 19-year-old is tall, strong, and ready to take the next step in his career. In late March, Vivian signed a contract renewal through 2021 which also guaranteed that he would spend the summer training with the first team. Still young with plenty of room to improve, the defender has shown maturity well beyond his years and even made his Euskadi debut last week in Panama.
Vivian fills an important hole for Athletic. The team is in need of a fourth center-back, but going two years without competing in Europe will put a strain on the club’s wage bill. The Lions have already announced that they wouldn’t renew Xabi Etxeita’s contract and have also ruled out the possibility of signing Jonas Ramalho. Instead, Gaizka Garitano has put his faith in Vivian according to Javier Ortiz de Lazcano of El Correo.
The specifics aren’t clear at this point. Vivian could be permanently promoted or continue playing with Bilbao Athletic knowing that he will regularly be called up to the first team. Either way, trusting Vivian instead of a proven defender isn’t just about the money. Garitano and the rest of the coaching staff hold the 19-year-old in high regard and believe that he is ready to compete at the highest level.
Another option to add depth in defense is Peru Nolaskoain. Eduardo Berizzo shocked everyone last summer when he transitioned Nolaskoain from midfield to center-back, but the Lezama graduate did well and even scored a goal in his debut match. Nolaskoain showed that he has the necessary skills to be a successful defender, but Garitano has other plans.
Once Nolaskoain returned to Bilbao Athletic he was put back into the midfield. In fact, Garitano rarely used the 20-year-old in defense and has made it clear that he doesn’t see him as a center-back. That being the case, it will be extremely difficult for Nolaskoain to earn a place in the squad this summer. There are already several midfielders standing in his way which means that Nolaskoain will likely leave on loan in order to play regular minutes according to Javier Beltrán of AS. He could potentially continue at Bilbao Athletic as well.
When preseason training begins on 4 July Gaizka Garitano will have a squad of 33 players. Everyone will have the opportunity to convince the manager, but the team will need to be trimmed down. With so many young players in the group, sending several out on loan could be the best thing for their development. The Mister will have several big decisions to make with the ultimate goal of qualifying for Europe next season.