Imanol Etxeberria Warns Iago Herrerín About Possibly Leaving Athletic Club
Iago Herrerín already has one foot out the door at Athletic. The goalkeeper barely saw the field last season and has grown unhappy with the treatment from fans over recent years, which has led the 32-year-old to ask for his exit this summer.
Athletic want Herrerín to see out the final year of his contract, but are willing to sell the goalkeeper if another club makes a satisfying offer. So far there’s been no contact with any other clubs. Herrerín may be determined to leave this summer, but his former goalkeeping coach, Imanol Etxeberria, warns that a move away might not work out for the best.
“He has shown that he can perform well in European competition,” Etxeberria told Alberto García of Mundo Deportivo. “When he played with me he was very good. He will have the idea in his head that he is a very good goalkeeper for the Primera. He’s not having the continuity at Athletic and things aren’t going as he had hoped. He will be looking for an outlet to be able to play and enjoy football.”
Etxeberria understands Herrerín’s feeling. However, the former coach also says that Herrerín must still recognize the position that he’s in at the moment. “Perhaps he wants to feel more important in the squad than he does now, even though he’s in an enviable place and you also have to realize that.”
To Etxeberria, being a goalkeeper for Athletic is special. There is a rich history of great goalkeepers at the club, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for Herrerín who wants the chance to play and to escape the barrage of criticism from Athletic fans.
“You have to realize that you’re at Athletic, in a goal that is mythical, at home and at a club with the best facilities. Everything is the best, but sometimes they say that money isn’t enough and neither are all the comforts that Athletic give. Players want to play and they will want to find a way to do it.”
Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has publicly said that Herrerín will only be allowed to leave if another club makes an offer. For now there’s still a chance that the Lezama product finishes his contract with Athletic, but Iago Herrerín would prefer to leave if at all possible.