Athletic Hoping To Find A Loan Deal For Asier Villalibre During January Transfer Window
Asier Villalibre’s path to the first team isn’t clear. After failing to perform during three separate loan spells, the young striker rediscovered his best football with Bilbao Athletic where he scored 23 goals last season and was rewarded with a new contract. Villalibre was then informed over the summer that he would be sent out on loan, but a move never materialized.
Due to wage restrictions, Athletic failed to find a loan partner in the Segunda. Several clubs from the Segunda B showed interest in signing the Lezama product but it was determined that another year at that level wouldn’t be beneficial for the 22-year-old. There was also an offer from Greek club Asteras Tripolis which was rejected by Villalibre who didn’t want to leave the country.
The summer transfer window eventually closed with Villalibre staying at Athletic which hasn’t been good for his development. So far, the striker has yet to even made the bench for a game and has had to settle for limited minutes in friendly matches during the international break. Athletic are still certain that Villalibre can become a very important player for the club, but right now the most important thing is for him to have regular minutes.
While the Basque giants failed to find a loan move for the starlet over the summer, they are hopeful that a deal can be reached in the upcoming January transfer window. Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta is confident that a few clubs will be in the market for a striker due to injuries or possibly competing for promotion which will make it much easier to facilitate a loan.
Only time will tell if Athletic are successful, but it’s clear that Asier Villalibre needs to be playing right now. This is a very important time in his development and regular minutes are needed for the 22-year-old to realize his full potential and become a key player at San Mamés.