Asier Villalibre Determined To Earn His Place At Athletic This Summer
Asier Villalibre understands the competition he’s facing this summer. The young striker put his career back on the right track last season by scoring 23 goals for Bilbao Athletic, but a place in the first team isn’t guaranteed. “I will have to give everything from the first day of the preseason”, he admitted before training began. It won’t be easy, but Villalibre is determined to stay with Athletic.
After making his debut as a 19-year-old back in 2016, Villalibre left on loan where he played with Numancia, Real Valladolid, and Lorca. He struggled to perform at all three clubs before returning to Bilbao Athletic last season. “I don’t want to go on loan again”, said the Lezama product earlier this summer. “I will work and give everything with the intention of staying.”
Including Villalibre, Athletic currently have four strikers competing for roles this summer. Iñaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz are already guarantees which means that the 21-year-old’s real competition is Kenan Kodro. A loan is still a very real possibility with several clubs having already enquired about the striker. Still, being able to train with and learn from Williams and Aduriz is invaluable, even if minutes are scarce.
It will be difficult to secure a spot in the squad, but Villalibre is determined to convince Garitano. With a month left until the season begins, and seven friendlies on the schedule, the Lezama product will have to make the most of his opportunities to stay at San Mamés.