Ponferradina Lead The Race To Sign Gaizka Larrazabal On Loan
When Athletic begin preseason training on Thursday, Gaizka Garitano will have a total of 33 players at his disposal. The manager aims to trim the squad down to somewhere between 22-24 players which means that there will be around 10 departures this summer. As always there will be a number of starlets who will leave on loan to have regular minutes and Gaizka Larrazabal is expected to be among those spending the year away.
Larrazabal made 11 appearances in his debut season with the first team, registering 2 assists, but needs more consistent playing time to continue developing. Last month it was reported that the 23-year-old will be sent out on loan and over the past few weeks clubs have begun to show interest in signing Larrazabal on loan for the upcoming campaign.
Ponferradina currently lead the race to sign Larrazabal, per El Correo. Manager Bolo is a graduate of Lezama who also played for the Athletic first team, and is said to be looking to sign at least one player on loan from his former club. Ponferradina already tried to sign Larrazabal back in January, but the young winger chose to stay at San Mamés and fight for his place in the team.
Larrazabal has other suitors as well with Mirandés and Real Zaragoza also showing interest. However, sources claim that he prefers a move to Ponferradina. “We have planned a meeting with the sports management team from Athletic,” Bolo told Mundo Deportivo in a recent interview. “What we want is to improve and it’s possible that there will be an Athletic player who would come to join us.”
Gorka Guruzeta is another option for Ponferradina. The 23-year-old spent the second half of last season with Bilbao Athletic after recovering from a torn ACL and is set to spend the year on loan to get back to his best football. Like Larrazabal, Guruzeta will also have plenty of suitors and Real Oviedo are in the best position to sign the forward on loan.
Oviedo manager Kuko Ziganda also plans to sign at least one Athletic player this summer and has made Guruzeta his top option, per Juanma Velasco of Marca. Guruzeta knows Ziganda and would welcome the opportunity to play under for the former Athletic coach.
Finding the right destination for young players to go out on loan is crucial to giving them the best chance to play important minutes and continue developing. Once preseason training begins this week Athletic will start working to finalize moves for the players who will spend the season away.