Oier Zarraga Steals The Show In Win Over Alavés
Athletic’s preseason has been all about the kids. Jon Morcillo, Nico Serrano, and Iñigo Vicente took center stage in the first friendly against Logroñés and were given minutes again in Wednesday’s match against Alavés. On again, Morcillo was in the spotlight with a strong performance, but Oier Zarraga stole the show at Lezama.
The 21-year-old was named to the starting lineup as was the best player on the field in the first half. Zarraga routinely cut open the Alavés defense with sublime passes and was excellent on the ball, often dribbling through multiple defenders to ignite attacks and create space. Most importantly, Zarraga played with confidence and composure against a Primera team.
“I’m more comfortable than I was at the beginning of the preseason when you have more doubts and nerves,” Zarraga told Athletic TV after the match. “With my teammates, and the veteran players who help you, I’m very comfortable.”
Zarraga is one of several young players who have been given the chance to play with the first team this summer. Everyone has tried to make the most of the opportunity and Zarraga is already showing that he could soon be a legitimate first team player.
“We are taking advantage of the opportunity they have given to us homegrown players. I try to take every opportunity and do my best to have more minutes in the future. The first game was very good. I felt comfortable and better than I expected. Today, here at Lezama wearing the red and white shirt, I’m happy to have been in the starting lineup and to have played a good game.”
Capable of playing anywhere in midfield and out wide, Zarraga has all the qualities and potential to become a first team player in the near future. Excellent on the ball, great vision, composure, creativity, and work rate are all valuable traits that could soon give Oier Zarraga the chance to make his official debut with Athletic.