Sestao River Manager Ibón Etxebarrieta Compares Ewan Urain To Athletic Legend Julio Salinas

Ewan Urain has been training with the Athletic first team this summer (AC)

Lezama is always full of promising young footballers. Some stand out with impressive statistics and number, but others are quietly consistent and constantly improving. Ewan Urain, the son of a Scottish mother and Basque father, is the later. From the famed 2000 generation, Urain has been an exceptional player since joining Athletic in 2015 though he’s often been in the shadows of others like Oihan Sancet and Unai Vencedor.

Urain has gotten better with every passing season, scoring 11 goals with Juvenil A three years ago before netting 13 times for Basconia in the following campaign. Last season Urain scored three goals with Bilbao Athletic in just six games as he was hampered by multiple injuries.

Despite having limited minutes with Bilbao Athletic, Urain was very good when he was on the field. Standing 6’3″ (1,92m) Urain is terrific in the air but has also shown the ability to score with both feet and holds up play well with his back to the goal. For a tall striker the 20-year-old knows how to use his body well and regularly puts himself in scoring positions.

This season will be crucial for Urain’s development as he will be tasked with leading the attack for Bilbao Athletic. Urain will be a key part of Joseba Etxeberria’s squad, although this summer he’s been training with the first team and will have the chance to make his unofficial debut on Saturday when Athletic travel to Logroñés for the first friendly of the preseason.

Urain has a bright future ahead and could soon become a full first team player. His size, prowess for scoring goal, and understanding of the game give him a great chance to one day take the field at San Mamés if he continues developing. In fact, one coach has even likened Urain’s style of football to an Athletic legend.

“I see him very similar to (Julio) Salinas.” (AC)

“He’s a Julio Salinas type, very tall, very thin, with very long legs,” Sestao River manager Ibón Etxebarrieta tells Mundo Deportivo. “I see him as quite complete. More than these tall and strong (Ismael) Urzaiz type forwards, I see him very similar to Salinas in terms of constitution and the way he plays. He also does things well with the ball. He gives a high level in all facets, with his feet and his head.”

Urain didn’t receive the same level of attention growing up as other strikers at Lezama. In a way he’s gone somewhat unnoticed, but continued to take steps forward to reach where he is now, on the cusp of first team football.

“There hasn’t been as much hype in Lezama for him as an (Ruben) Azcona or a (Gorka) Guruzeta, but every year he has had very good numbers. He’s a forward who has a lot of ability to score. He’s very tall and scores headers. With his feet, for his height, he’s well coordinated. He’s a fairly complete player who always scores goals, but he lacked continuity in recent years due to injuries. If he controls it (injuries) then I see him as a player with a huge projection.”

The recent retirement of Aritz Aduriz has left Athletic in a difficult position. For now Raúl García has taken up the mantle of leading the front line with Asier Villalibre expected to contribute more this season. Looking ahead, Ewan Urain has the quality and potential to one day be scoring goals at San Mamés.

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