The Futures Of Beñat And Mikel San José Will Be Determined At The End Of The Season
For the better part of the last decade Beñat and Mikel San José have played a tremendous role in the success at Athletic. From helping the team qualify for Europe in four straight season – including one top four finish – to making a combined 625 appearances for the Lions, the pair has been incredible. However, their time at the club could soon be coming to an end.
Together, Beñat and San José have featured in a combined 14 games for Athletic this season and although injuries have been partly to blame for their diminished minutes, so has a new generation of midfielders. Last season the arrival of Dani García saw San José lose his starting role and the same thing happened to Beñat this year with Unai López earning his role in the lineup.
While the Lezama products have been able to play key roles mostly off the bench, there are also young players ready to challenge them for a place in the team such as Oihan Sancet and Unai Vencedor. It’s no secret that Gaizka Garitano greatly values the experience of the two veterans and has full confidence in the pair, but growing competition could make this their last season at San Mamés.
Both Beñat and San José are in the final year of their contracts and their futures will be decided close to the end of the campaign. In hopes of avoiding the Markel Susaeta soap opera of last year, sources have told Inside Athletic that Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta spoke to the midfielders at the beginning of the summer and explained that the club would analyze their performances throughout the season before deciding whether or not to offer renewals.
Simply put, Beñat and San José must prove this season that they can still contribute at a high level and deserve to continue at the club. Athletic will wait until the second half of the season to make a decision and, if the two aren’t offered renewals, Garitano will hand the keys to the next generation of midfielders. That being said, the pair have made it very clear that they want to stay at Athletic and are determined to earn their place.