Aritz Solabarrieta “Sancet Has That Courage That Is Hard To Find In Other Young Players”
Athletic’s win over Osasuna on Sunday was a special game for many players, but no one celebrated the moment quite like Oihan Sancet. The 19-year-old was making his first start with the Lions and played very well as he assisted the opening goal to Iñaki Williams. Sancet has been the talk of Bilbao for several months now and is already showing that he could be a key player for the future.
“He was very excited and that was seen in the way he celebrated the goal,” said Aritz Solabarrieta in an interview with El Correo. Solabarrieta knows Sancet well as he coached the midfielder at Lezama with Juvenil A and at Bilbao Athletic last year. “He celebrated with the other first team players when someone in his position would normally be more reserved. He has that courage that is hard to find in other young players. He’s a wonderful kid.”
Looking back on the very successful Juvenil A team of two years ago, Solabarrieta explained how Sancet was able to take a big step forward in his development. “We played with a daring system, a 4-3-3 where he was placed on the right side of the midfield. It forced him not only to attack but also to defend. It was something good for his growth.”
Solabarrieta sees no reason why Sancet can’t succeed at the first team. “It depends on him,” he said when asked if the starlet can make it at San Mamés. “He’s very intelligent and is aware of the potential that he has. Of course, he was one step above the rest at Bilbao Athletic. His ability to turn and maneuver is great and he’s elegant when taking the ball forward.”
Oskar Tabuenka, who coached Sancet with Euskadi U18, also sees greatness in the 19-year-old. “When he came to me he immediately reminded me of Javi Martinez, both physically and the way he plays. He has the qualities to succeed at Athletic. He’s great at taking on defenders and he’s strong. He has a lethal play, control with his back to defenders, and can shoot the way he did at Balaídos.”
There’s no denying the fact that Oihan Sancet has the quality and potential to become a key player for Athletic for years to come. Sunday’s performance against Osasuna may very well be the start of something truly special but it will be up to Sancet to continue developing in order to reach his greatest potential.