Athletic Club Planning To Promote Jokin Ezkieta To Replace Iago Herrerín
Iago Herrerín has likely played his final game in an Athletic shirt. The 32-year-old has grown tired of the treatment from fans and recently revealed in an interview with El Correo that he’s asked to leave the club this summer. Herrerín explained that Athletic have agreed to facilitate his exit, meaning someone will need to take his place in the team.
For months Athletic have been linked with a move for Levante’s Aitor Fernández. As a Lezama graduate, Fernández has always been open about his desire to one day return to his boyhood club. However, signing the 29-year-old isn’t a realistic option at this point. Fernández currently has a €30 million release clause and Levante have refused to sell for anything less than €15 million, which is far more than Athletic are willing to offer.
Part of Athletic’s desire to sign Fernández, in addition to his being one of the top goalkeepers in La Liga, was to have an experienced veteran to back up and challenge Unai Simón. With Fernández ruled out the club could still pursue other options such as Jon Ander Serantes or Stéphane Ruffier, but that likely won’t be happening.
Athletic are now prepared to promote Jokin Ezkieta to replace Iago Herrerain, per Javier Beltrán of AS. Initially, Athletic were unsure if the 23-year-old was ready, but after spending most of last season training with the first team the club is convinced that Ezkieta is prepared to take over for Herrerín moving forward.
Ezkieta joined Athletic from Barcelona last summer and was the starting goalkeeper for Bilbao Athletic over the past year. Although he did make his debut back in January in a Cup game against Tenerife, Ezkieta is still unproven at this level. Regardless, Jokin Ezkieta has shown impressive potential since coming to Athletic and is the club’s best to replace Herrerín next season.