Peru Nolaskoain And Iñigo Vicente Eager To Earn Their Place At San Mamés
The chances that Athletic will be making any transfer signings this summer are slim. With limited funds following the pandemic it will be extremely difficult for the club to spend on reinforcements. Instead, Athletic will once again trust in Lezama with Peru Nolaskoain and Iñigo Vicente ready to earn their place at San Mamés following impressive seasons away on loan.
“My goal was to return to Lezama with minutes and in that sense I think the year was positive,” Nolaskoain told Athletic TV in a special interview along with Vicente. “It’s something that had to happen in life. I’m another player now and above all another type of person. I have seen that club’s from abroad aren’t the same, that there are other cultures and other ways of training and living.”
Having spent the year on loan with Deportivo, Nolaskoain saw what life is like outside of Bilbao. Things are much different at other clubs and the 21-year-old explained that young players have more opportunities to succeed at Athletic.
“Here we have that advantage, that luck of having only people from home, and I think that young players have more enthusiasm here than at other clubs because, at other places, if a player from abroad has had a good year they can be signed. On the other hand, here we know that it is only us and we all know that if we arrive at Bilbao Athletic there are many options to take the step, to have the opportunity to play at the top and I think that is an extra motivation for your players and for the player that sign for Athletic.”
Ultimately, the year away was good for Nolaskoain and now he’s eager to prove himself at Athletic. “In the end you realize that being at home is something else,” he said. “Outside it is sometimes cold and difficult times aren’t easy to cope with, but now I’m at home wanting to train with my teammates and to be part of the team.”
Vicente also benefitted from spending the year away on loan with Mirandés. At first he was frustrated by having to leave, but ended the season thankful for the experience and opportunity to play in the Segunda.
“I’ve been here my whole life, since I the first year of Alevín. When it was my turn to go out on loan it was a shock at first. However, later in Miranda I adapted very well and quickly. The team was a small family, a humble club. We had a great year and I was very comfortable. I had minutes and I think the loan was very good for me.”
Playing against stronger competition helped Vicente improve. “In terms of football, I think I have learned to read the game better and to know when one thing or another is required,” he said. “I have improved and I think I can contribute a lot to the team.”
Like Nolaskoain, leaving Athletic for a year helped show Vicente that there’s no place like home. The 22-year-old has returned with renewed motivation and is determined to convince the manager
“There are few places like Athletic. When you go out you realize that it’s not the same. Being here helps you improve your level a lot. Coming here to train with these players is always the best there is and having this opportunity again fills me with enthusiasm. I want to do well.”
Both Peru Nolaskoain and Iñigo Vicente will be given every opportunity to earn their place in the first team this summer. The Lezama products have shown that they are ready to compete in the Primera and have the quality and potential to become important players in Athletic’s quest win the Copa del Rey title and return to Europe.