Peru Nolaskoain And Iñigo Vicente Ready To Fight A Place In The First Team
With each passing day it seems increasingly more unlikely that Athletic will be making any transfer signings this summer. Funds are limited and the club’s market is scarce. Instead, Athletic will once again be turning to Lezama to reinforce the squad and a number of players will be returning from loans with hopes of earning a place in the first team.
Of all the players who spent last season away on loan, Peru Nolaskoain and Iñigo Vicente return most prepared to challenge for a role in Gaizka Garitano’s squad. Andoni López, Hodei Oleaga, and Christian Ganea will all be expected to leave once again as they aren’t part of the Mister’s plans.
Nolaskoain enjoyed a very successful season with Deportivo on a personal level. The 21-year-old made 29 appearances for Depor while scoring two goals and being one of the best players in the team. With Mikel San José and Beñat both departing this summer there will be a chance for Nolaskoain to convince the manager and lock down a permanent spot during the preseason.
When Athletic report for training on 13 August it’s very likely that Nolaskoain will be competing against Mikel Vesga, Oihan Sancet, and Unai Vencedor in the midfield. Being able to feature at center-back gives Nolaskoain versatility that Garitano values, but it will still be up to him to prove himself.
Meanwhile, Vicente went from less to more under Andoni Iraola’s coaching at Mirandés. In 35 appearances the 22-year-old scored 5 goals and provided 7 assists, although he was in and out of the lineup. As a player, Vicente has that touch of magic that is missing at Athletic. The first team could benefit from the starlet’s qualities, but earning a place won’t be easy.
Vicente also offers versatility as he is able to play on the wing or through the middle. However, Athletic already have a lot of players in those positions who will be battling for minutes. Vicente needs to have regular playing time to continue developing and if that won’t happen at San Mamés this season it’s possible that he will go out on loan for a second year.
Last season Peru Nolaskoain and Iñigo Vicente showed their quality in the Segunda. The two starlets have earned the chance to compete for first team football, but must still earn their place in the squad. If not, another year on loan could be beneficial as both Lezama products need to be playing consistent minutes.