Where Does New Signing Alex Berenguer Fit At Athletic Club?
Gaizka Garitano openly asked for a winger to be signed this summer. Wish granted. Athletic announced the signing of Alex Berenguer on Friday with the 25-year-old making the long-awaited move from Torino to San Mamés.
Athletic’s attack has been poor for the past few years to say the least. The Lions struggle to create chances and even when they do finishing remains the biggest problem. Signing Berenguer is a move that will hopefully improve the team in the final third.
For an initial fee of €10 million, with an additional €2 million in variables, Berenguer is Athletic’s 4th-most expensive signing in history. At such a high price the Osasuna product will be expected to take on an important role, but where does he fit in the team?
Garitano values versatility and Berenguer fits that mold. In his early days with Osasuna Berenguer player left-back, but was already transitioning to a more attacking role before the move to Torino.
Berenguer arrived in Italy as a left-winger where he showcased the ability to take on defenders, create chances, and score goals. Always dangerous with the ball at his feet, Berenguer began playing through the middle last season, registering 6 goals and 4 assists in 36 appearances.
Having playing mostly as an attacking midfielder lately, Berenguer could do the same for Athletic. If so, Iker Muniain would be moved to the left wing. It’s certainly an option, though not likely the main plan.
Garitano’s request for a winger suggests that’s where Berenguer will feature. For the money the club spent, the goal is for Berenguer to start on the left wing but he will have to earn the role.
The addition of Berenguer takes the pressure off of Jon Morcillo and gives Athletic more options in attack. Morcillo shouldn’t be expected to play heavy minutes in his first season and will now be able to transition to the Primera without lofty expectations.
With Iñigo Córdoba, Ibai Gómez, Iñigo Vicente, Iñaki Williams, Morcillo, and others in the fold Athletic have a plethora of options in attack. Make no mistake about it, Alex Berenguer has been signed to be a key player for Athletic with hopes of becoming a star at San Mamés.