Iñigo Córdoba Left Out Of The Athletic Squad To Face Real Madrid
No Athletic player has benefited from the arrival of Gaizka Garitano last year as much as Iñigo Córdoba. After rarely seeing the field under Eduardo Berizzo, Córdoba quickly became a regular starter for Garitano who values the winger’s work rate and constant defensive contributions. However, not everyone agrees that he should have such an important role in the team.
Fans have been outspoken about their frustrations with Córdoba who has struggled to provide much going forward. The 22-year-old has been whistled on occasions at San Mamés and admitted in interviews that he needs to become more of an attacking threat. Despite his limitations in the final third, Córdoba has continued to be integral part of Garitano’s organized and defensive system.
While Córdoba has always had the confidence of Garitano, that could be changing. The Lezama product was left out of the team for Tuesday’s Copa del Rey match against Intercity and while many assumed it meant that he would start against Real Madrid, that isn’t the case. When the squad list for Athletic’s trip to the Santiago Bernabéu was announced on Frida Córdoba was excluded once again.
There has been no word from Athletic in regards to a possible injury and sources claim that Córdoba’s absence is in fact a coaching decision. With the winger left behind, Garitano will likely put his faith in Ibai Gómez who has been excellent in recent matches and deserving of more minutes. Following Sunday’s game against Real Madrid, Athletic will enjoy the Christmas break during which Iñigo Córdoba and others will have the opportunity to fight for their place in the team.