An Uncertain Future For Andoni López Following Elche Loan

Andoni Lopez Elche

Andoni López has one year left on his contract with Athletic (AP)

Andoni López’s loan spell with Elche ended in jubilation on a collective level. Los Franjiverdes won the promotional playoffs to book their place in next season’s Segunda, though it was far from a success on an individual level. López was unable to earn a consistent starting role with Elche despite playing well when given the opportunity and didn’t feature at all during the playoffs.

Due to Elche’s season ending so late López has been given time off for vacation before reporting to Lezama for preseason training with Athletic. Whenever he does return, if he does at all, the 24-year-old will be facing an uncertain future with difficult decisions to be made.

López is entering the final year of his contract with Athletic, but without a place in the first team. With Yuri Berchiche and Mikel Balenziaga in the squad López isn’t a part of Gaizka Garitano’s plans for the upcoming season.

Staying in the first team isn’t an option so leaving on loan is the only way that the left-back will have minutes. Logroñés have been heavily linked with a move for López, as have Elche, yet there’s also a possibility that Athletic could entertain the idea of terminating his contract as they recently did with Cristian Ganea.

Following two unsuccessful loan spells López’s future at San Mamés looks bleak, but not all hope is lost. Balenziaga is also in the final year of his contract and López could be in line to replace the veteran next summer if he’s able to prove himself in the year ahead. Unless he were to leave the club permanently this summer, Andoni López will have one last chance to earn his place at Athletic.

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