Athletic Club Reject Loan Offers For Gaizka Larrazabal
Gaizka Larrazabal earned his place in the Athletic first team over the summer after coming off of a truly spectacular season with Bilbao Athletic. The young winger, son of club legend Aitor Larrazabal, offered a more direct style of attacking as well as defensive contribution and work rate which won over the confidence of the manager. Larrazabal added something different to the squad and enjoyed a strong start to the campaign.
The 22-year-old made nine appearances over the first half of the season and provided two assists, though his minutes have since diminished. Garitano recently introduced a new formation with three center-backs which has made it difficult for any wingers to get into the team. From there, illness and a muscle injury complicated Larrazabal’s situation even further.
With the January window closing soon a number of clubs from the Segunda contacted Athletic with interest in signing Larrazabal on loan. Real Zaragoza were the most serious suitors and guaranteed regular playing time while Ponferradina and Rayo Vallecano were also in the conversation. In the end, Athletic rejected all offers for Larrazabal with Gaizka Garitano unwilling to part with any players according to a report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo.
Larrazabal is said to have agreed to a move to Zaragoza which was contingent on Athletic choosing to send him away on loan. However, the winger didn’t want to leave the team and preferred to stay at San Mamés and continue fighting for more minutes. At his age it’s important for Gaizka Larrazabal to have regular playing time in order to continue developing, but with Athletic entering a challenging stretch of the season the club had no intention of losing a player that could make important contributions.