Jon Morcillo Poised To Start In Athletic’s La Liga Opener

Jon Morcillo has been the revelation of the preseason (AC)

The La Liga begins in just four days and Gaizka Garitano has some difficult decisions to make. With several key players missing a large portion of preseason, the manager must determine who is ready to take the field on Friday night at Los Cármenes and who need more time. The likes of Iñaki Williams and Iñigo Martínez are almost certain to make the lineup, but the could be a few surprises.

Iñigo Córdoba tested positive for COVID-19 in the initial screenings and only returned to training one week ago. The winger played just a single friendly. On the other hand, his competition, Jon Morcillo, took the summer by storm. Morcillo scored two goals during the preseason, created two others, and was a constant threat in attack.

Having led Bilbao Athletic in scoring last year, Morcillo knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. But he offers so much more. The 21-year-old has shown a keen understanding of movement, when to take on defenders, and is always willing to contribute defensively. Being an asset on set pieces and skilled at crossing the ball are also a bonus.

In many ways Morcillo was the most outstanding player for Athletic during summer and is now poised to make the starting lineup on Friday night. Garitano hinted at fielding Morcillo in the league opener by including him in the lineup against Eibar. Genuinely, the last friendly of the summer is used as a final test for the team and Morcillo played the full 90 minutes.

It’s no secret that Athletic need help scoring goals. The Lions lack creativity and directness. Morcillo offers both. Whether or not he’s ready for first team football, he has impressed this summer. All signs point to Jon Morcillo starting against Granada and he could very well be an answers to Athletic’s problems in attack.

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