Gorka Guruzeta And Jesús Areso Will Spend The Upcoming Season Away On Loan
Another year without European football means another year with limited minutes to go around. When Athletic begin preseason training on 13 August it will be up to Gaizka Garitano to start narrowing down the squad and a few decisions have already been made. Unfortunately, there won’t be room for everyone.
Having recovered from a torn ACL, Gorka Guruzeta spent the past season with Bilbao Athletic but still needs regular playing time to get back to his best football. According to a report from Javier Beltrán of El Correo, Guruzeta won’t have a place in the first team this year and will instead go out on loan.
Real Oviedo, Numancia, and Real Zaragoza have all shown interest in singing Guruzeta who would benefit from playing every weekend in the Segunda. The 23-year-old needs to test himself against stronger competition and a loan is seen as the perfect opportunity for him to do so while also getting consistent minutes. Guruzeta has one year left on his contract.
Similarly, Jesús Areso will also be leaving on loan to the Second Division. The right-back has spent the last three years with Bilbao Athletic and is ready to take the next step in his career. Areso has proven that he has a bright future ahead but isn’t quite ready to challenge Ander Capa, Óscar De Marcos, and Iñigo Lekue. A successful season away could see Areso return prepared to fight for his place in the first team.
Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor, Dani Vivian, Jon Morcillo, and Jokin Ezkieta will all spend the preseason with the first team with chances of earning roles in the squad. Sancet and Vencedor are sure to be given spots in the team to replace Mikel San José and Beñat, but the others will have to leave on loan if they are unable to convince.
Garitano will also have to sort out the players returning from loan. Peru Nolaskoain and Iñigo Vicente have shown that they are ready to contribute to the first team, but minutes will be hard to come by. On the other hand, Andoni López and Hodei Oleaga are expected to leave for another year in hopes of turning a corner.
Missing out on Europe was a major disappointment. Athletic have the quality to challenge for a top seven finish next year but improvements must be made. Gaizka Garitano will be looking for ways to make the team better this summer and trusting the next generation could be one of the keys to success.