Julen Bernaola Ready To Assume Key Role For Bilbao Athletic
Julen Bernaola has often been in the shadow of other players at Lezama. Even though he made his Bilbao Athletic debut at just 17 years old, along with featuring for Spain’s U17 and U18 teams, competition has been fierce. Bernaola was finally promoted to Bilbao Athletic last season where he once again had limited opportunities.
With Unai Vencedor, Oier Zarraga, and often Oihan Sancet in the squad chances were few and far between. Bernaola played just four games with the Kumeak. This season, however, the time has come for Bernaola to take on a more important role with Bilbao Athletic.
Sancet and Vencedor have been promoted to the first team and Zarraga will alternate. As a result, Bernaola will be trusted as a leader in the midfield as Bilbao Athletic aim for another top four finish. The 21-year-old has been an integral part of team’s four preseason friendlies, starting twice, and looks ready to assume the responsibility.
Despite playing center-back during his earlier days at the academy, Bernaola recently transitioned to defensive midfielder where he has excelled. The Lezama product reads the game well, can link up play with good passing, and is strong in the air. For the most part Julen Bernaola has just needed the opportunity to prove himself and that chance comes this season.