Athletic Legends Sound Off On Alex Remiro Signing With Real Sociedad
Alex Remiro’s decision to leave Athletic for Real Sociedad came as no surprise but was still unwelcomed news. The deal was officially announced a few days ago and many have come out to share their thoughts on the situation. Former club President José Julián Lertxundi, and former players Andoni Cedrún and Andoni Goikoetxea all weighed in during an interview with Jon Zubieta of Mundo Deportivo and had differing points of view which influenced their opinions on the ordeal.
For Lertxundi, there’s no excuse for Athletic letting the situation happen. The former President doesn’t understand why the club treated Remiro so harshly, though does recognize that it was the player’s decision not to renew.
“I consider it a disgrace what happened to Athletic because there was a very clear future with a player who was fantastic. He was the natural replacement to Kepa Arrizabalaga, who left. It’s a disgrace. What I read, and I don’t doubt that what I read is true, is that he didn’t want to renew. What has happened to the boy psychologically so that after having a career at Athletic for many years there comes a time when he doesn’t want to renew. Was there disappointment, was he treated badly? Something happened.
We know that he didn’t agree with the Board on the economics and they sent him to the stands. This is a mortal sin in football. I find the situation unusual. The situation happened with Berizzo but can you imagine that happening with Jupp Heynckes, Luis Enrique, or Javier Clemente? Telling a manager that you can’t use a player and sending him to the stands because of contractual issues? I suppose that was an element that contributed to his lack of enthusiasm to continue at Athletic.”
On the other hand, Andoni Cedrún went through a similar situation. The former goalkeeper found it difficult to enjoy regular minutes sitting behind Andoni Zubizarreta and made the decision to leave Athletic after just three years with the first team.
“He is a goalkeeper with a bright future. We must recognize the great work that is being done at Lezama. Goalkeepers are coming out with promising futures. It’s a matter of Remiro’s ambition. He sees that his time at Athletic is closed and he’s leaving after a very hard year. Athletic would have made every effort to renew him, but seeing the potential that he has he wanted to look for a new life, like when I left when Zubizarreta joined the team.
I wanted to renew with Athletic, but I also wanted to succeed in football and I saw that I didn’t have a place at Athletic. What Remiro has done is look for the opportunity at Real Sociedad. There are great goalkeepers at Athletic and if there aren’t opportunities to play then players have to leave.
Would another loan have been a good option? Yes, but I think the previous board proposed the renewal and he saw it complicated to continue because of the other quality at goalkeeper. It’s a fight. The club can’t give him options to play when the goal was already well covered. You have to respect Remiro’s decision.”
Club legend Andoni Goikoetxea believes the blame is solely on Remiro. The former defender admitted that a deal had been in place with Real Sociedad for a while and doesn’t think that Remiro had proven nearly enough to justify the wages he demanded from Athletic.
“It was already known that he didn’t want to renew and was going to leave for Real Sociedad, although some other teams could have been options. It wasn’t a surprise. Of course, the goal is well guarded with the players in the team.
From what I could see in the lower levels he was fine. He’s a goalkeeper who hasn’t shown anything yet. He’s a goalkeeper with a good projection, but he hasn’t played. It’s not a surprise, but it’s bad news that a player who has been at Athletic for so long leaves and doesn’t bring any benefit to the club. It’s not good news. This has been a specific situation, but players feel comfortable in the team where they want to be, which is Athletic.”