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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Right now Valverde has no less than 37 players to choose from next season...current first team players, players returning from loan and players promoting from BA:

Gorka Iraizoz
Iago Herrerín
Kepa Arrizabalaga
Alex Remiro

Óscar de Marcos - Xabi Etxeita - Aymeric Laporte - Mikel Balenziaga
Markel Etxeberria - Eneko Bóveda - Yeray Álvarez - Iñigo Lekue
Unai Bustinza - Óscar Gil - Jon Aurtenetxe - Enric Saborit

Beñat Etxebarria - Mikel San José
Ander Iturraspe - Mikel Vesga
Erik Morán* - Mikel Rico
Unai López - Gorka Elustondo

Iñaki Williams - Raúl García - Iker Muniain
Markel Susaeta - Javi Eraso - Sabin Merino
Ibai Gómez - Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta - Ager Aketxe**

Aritz Aduriz
Guillermo Fernández
Borja Viguera
Kike Sola


* I think he´s on a two years loan so he would only return this summer if Athletic decides so.
** Long term injury, out until January/February.

Players returning from loan: Kepa, Bustinza, Aurtenetxe, Ruiz de Galarreta, Guillermo, Sola.

From these, to be honest, I think only Kepa and Guillermo have chances of staying. Only Kepa had an outstanding season (and Morán, but he´s on a two years loan in Zaragoza), the rest weren´t that good (not all were bad, bu simply not enought to return to the first team.)

The fact that Valverde wants both Sola and Viguera out, and even though Williams and Sabin can play upfront...Guillermo might have a chance of staying as Aduriz´s replacement, but he will have to earn it in preseason. He had an ok season in one of the best teams in Segunda, and Valverde always liked him.

In the case of Kepa, I think he deserves a place in the first team, the problem is that 3 other goalies also deserve it. Here, Valverde has a -good- problem: 4 good goalies, all deserving a place in the first team, none of them being clearly better than the rest. Seems like Iago will renew soon, so this increases the different theories about Athletic´s goal next season. If Kepa does not stay, he will be loaned to a Primera División team.

Players promoted from BA (still not official): Remiro, Etxeberria, Yeray, Óscar Gil, Saborit, Vesga, Unai López, Aketxe.

From these, the ones who seem to have all the tickes to be part of the first team next season are Markel Etxeberria, Mikel Vesga and one from Yeray/Gil. Both Etxeberria and Vesga have been renewed recently as first team players. The rest will try to demonstrate Valverde they can have a place during preseason, most will be loaned.

Markel Etxebarria has probably been the most consistent player throught the season in BA together with Remiro. He plays in a position well covered in the first team but I think Valverde will make place for him. Bóveda will be definately moved to CB and Lekue will have an important presence as offensive winger, and also covering Balenziaga in the LB. I think Markel will be De Marcos´ cover next season in Athletic.

I commented several times during BA´s season that the main problem were the central midfielders, that one from Undabarrena, Unai López or Vesga should take a step forward and lead the team. After Unda´s injury, Vesga took that step forward, growing a lot his football during the last months of the season. I think Valverde likes him a lot and will probably make room for him in the first team: Rico and Elustondo have chances of leaving to let Vesga IN.

With Gurpegi out and Laporte´s rumours both Yeray and Óscar Gil will make preseason as CBs. One will stay, the other depends on what happens with Aymeric. Yeray has always been considered the best prospect, but Óscar had a better season: the fight is tight. Here the breaking new is that it has already been published that Jonás Ramalho will leave Athletic, Valverde does not count with him.

Alex Remiro played a brillian season, probably the best goalie in Segunda (together with two other basque/Athletic linked goalies, Kepa in Valladolid and Jon Ander Serantes in Leganés.) His problem is the other 3 more experienced goalies ahead of him in the first team. I think Remiro is the best of the 4, but he will probably get loaned to gain experience.

Unai López tried to be BA´s leader through different parts of the season. He was it sometimes, but still lacks regularity. I think he can be the new Beñat, Athletic has to focus on that. Might have his chance during preseason.

Saborit has been renewed for one more season. I think Valverde wants to keep on testing him considering the lack of left footed players we have in the first team, but he has it difficult. I think we will end up signing a left footed: Isma López / Berenguer.

Aketxe has been BA´s best player and leader during the second half of the season, one of the top scorers in the league, he has improved a lot. He will be injured until January/February, we´ll see what happens when he returns. Without the injury we would have been a first team player this season, no doubt.

Signing rumours: Isma López, Alex Berenguer, Ander Herrera, Nacho Monreal, César Azpilicueta.

As mentioned, Valverde wants some left footed players (currently only Balenziaga and Laporte in the first team). Isma López and Berenguer arise as the two options in the market. López has recicled himself as leftback in Sporting, playing decently in the last two years, I think he wouldn´t add much though. It would be his third signing for Athletic.

Osasuna´s Berenguer is an offensive winger, he does seem to have a bright future ahead of him. The singing wouldn´t be cheap, and this will obviously also depend on Osasuna staying in Segunda or promoting.

Seems like Mourinho doesn´t want Herrera in United and that has triggered the rumours of a possible comeback to Athletic. Then obviously we add the every-summer typicall rumours of Monreal and Azpilicueta.
We cannot forget all the rumours that put Aymeric Laporte in Manchester City next season, and all what that would mean in terms of: i) finding a substitute in defence and ii) what we can sign with those Eur 50m.

All in all, with still many doubts and with many players having to fight for a place in preseason, I think Athletic 2016-17 might look something like this, let´s see how far from reality I am at the end of summer.

Gorka Iraizoz
Kepa Arrizabalaga

Óscar de Marcos - Xabi Etxeita - Aymeric Laporte - Mikel Balenziaga
Markel Etxeberria - Eneko Bóveda - Yeray Álvarez - Iñigo Lekue

Beñat Exebarria - Mikel San José
Ander Iturraspe - Mikel Vesga

Iñaki Williams - Raúl García - Iker Muniain
Markel Susaeta - Ander Herrera - Alex Berenguer

Aritz Aduriz
Sabin Merino

Players IN: Kepa (Valladolid, loan), Etxeberria (BA), Yeray (BA), Vesga (BA), Herrera (Manchester Utd), Berenguer (Osasuna).

Players OUT: Iago Hererin, Remiro, Bustinza, Gil, Aurtenetxe, Saborit, Rico, Unai López, Elustondo, Eraso, Ibai Gómez, Galarreta, Guillermo, Viguera, Sola.






 

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This could be a very exciting team. More depth than previous seasons. Aduriz's replacement will have to be a priority. I can't imagine that his age won't start effecting him soon.
 

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Lehendakari
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Rumours that we're signing 22 yo striker Iker Hernandez from Erreala for Bilbao Athletic. Is he seen as a long term prospect for the first team?
 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #4
I think it´s more a matter of trying to sign anything which looks like a striker, as knowwonnose says, to try to look for a cover for Aduriz.

Gorka Santamaría will surely find a team in Segunda to play as loaned, so if Iker signs is to be BA´s striker together with Villalibre and Guruzeta in the return to Segunda B.
 

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Great post, Iribar!
I hope we sign Herrera and try to move Williams up front as Aduriz' replacement.

Exciting summer regarding Laporte. Let' see if we can start the season well and go for the CL spot right away...
 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #6
Today Athletic announced Mikel Vesga (MF), Óscar Gil (DF) and Yeray Álvarez (DF) will make preseason with the first team. Yesterday they announced Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) will also be part of the first team and Alex Remiro (GK) will be loaned.

I am surprised of Markel Etxeberria´s absence, although there´s still time for an announcement. Maybe he´s not joining for preseason because we´re indeed signing Isma López for the leftback? Then Lekue would stay as De Marcos replacement and Markel would have to find a team to be loaned. Still, I´m still quite sure he will be part of the first team this season, let´s wait.

Finally, Unai López, Saborit and Aketxe. Maybe they have not been announced beacuse they are already considered part of the first team? We will see. Same goes for Lekue, who still has a B team contract. Aketxe will obviously stay in Lezama to recover from his injury, decission will be made in the winter transfer. Saborit has been renewed for one more year, it makes no sense to keep him in BA in Segunda or loan him. Unai López on the other hand, I would understand a loan, maybe to a 'weak' primera team.. Alavés? Eibar? Osasuna?
 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #7
IN Bilbao Athletic Jon Ander Felipe, Jonas Ramalho, Egoitz Magdaleno, Iker Guarrotxena, Jon Iru and Jon Ander Amelibia leave the club.

Good luck for them.
 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #9
Considering Guardiola´s City had already told Laporte they were willing to pay the 50m buyout clause this week, this decission by Aymeric is great news and I hope a turning point when it comes to loyalty to the club (Llorente, Martinez, Herrera raise your hand).

Laporte is now the best paid player in Athletic´s history. I am sure he will reward us with his football.

Aupa Aymeric! Aupa Athletic!
 

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Laportes renewal is a frontal refuse to modern football


He has said with this action that petrodollars are not everything in football






Acording to some media City offered 8 million € by year, and Athletic 4,5 million
 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #13
Hello, anyone alive?? Today Ibai Gómez signed for Alavés. The best of lucks for him. :)

 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #14
Current Athletic squad is as follows, 29 players, Valverde still has to get rid of 5-6 players.

Gorka Iraizoz
Kepa Arrizabalaga
Iago Herrerín

Óscar de Marcos - Xabi Etxeita - Aymeric Laporte - Mikel Balenziaga
Iñigo Lekue - Eneko Bóveda - Yeray Álvarez - Enric Saborit
xxxxxxxxxxx - Óscar Gil - xxxxxxxxxxx - Jon Aurtenetxe

Beñat Etxebarria - Mikel San José
Ander Iturraspe - Mikel Rico
Gorka Elustondo - Mikel Vesga

Iñaki Williams - Raúl García - Sabin Merino
Markel Susaeta - Javi Eraso - Iker Muniain
xxxxxxxxxxxx - Ager Aketxe - xxxxxxxxxxxx

Aritz Aduriz
Guillermo Fernánez
Borja Viguera
Kike Sola


Watching preseason seems like the exits will come from the following list:

1. Iago or Kepa
2. Aurtenetxe or Saborit
3. Gil or Yeray
4. Elustondo or Vesga
5. Kike Sola
6. Viguera or Guillermo
7. Aketxe is injured until January.

In bold the ones I think have more chances of leaving.

From the 'new ones', so far in preseason three players who have impressed quite a lot are Vesga, Yeray and Guillermo, specially the first.

On that matter, Mikel Vesga has it difficult to get minutes since he plays in a position currently very well covered with 4 reliable players. Actually, the on-theory weaker of those players, Mikel Rico, is playing a very good preseason so I guess he will stay in the club for one more year at least.

Said this, Valverde will have to make a decission regarding Vesga:

1. Loan him to a Primera or strong Segunda team so he plays a lot of minutes and returns ready to fight for a starting spot.
2. Stay and be the 5th pick.
3. Make a true bet for him and get rid of one of the 4 midfielders. And here for some reason I think Iturraspe would be the sacrifized rather than Rico.
 

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I feel sad for what happened to Ibai, but I guess that's life. Hope he will find to his good form again there in Gasteiz! I'd be happy to see him in Athletic one day again.

Personally I think, Aurtenetxe is better than Saborit as well as Kike Sola is better than Guillermo, so I hope those two will stay instead if the other ones. But that might be just me thinking like this.
 

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Fantasy Liga Txampion
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Discussion Starter #16
Well, Aurtenetxe has signed for Mirandés. Athletic has a buy-back option at the end of the season. Truth is it is a bit weird what has happened with this player, he became starter (and quite solid) at a very young age and since Bielsa left each year he plays worse.

The EXITS

- Unai López: Loaned to Leganés (1st Level)
- Markel Etxeberria: Loaned to Valladolid (2nd Level)
- Urtzi Iriondo: Loaned to Elche (2nd Level)
- Alex Remiro: Loaned to Levante (2nd Level)
- Erik Morán: Loaned to Real Zaragoza (2nd Level)
- Gorka Santamaría: Loaned to Cádiz CF (2nd Level)

- Ibai Gómez: Signed by Alavés (1st Level) - 0 EUR
- Unai Bustina: Signed by Leganés (1st Level) - 0 EUR
- Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta: Signed by Numancia (2nd Level) - 0 EUR
- Jon Aurtenetxe: Signed by Mirandés (2nd Level) - 0 EUR, buy-back option

PROBABLE EXITS IN THE FOLLOWING DAYS

- Óscar Gil: Real Oviedo (2nd Level) wants him Loaned
- Kike Sola: Córdoba (2nd Level) wants him Loaned
- Kepa Arrizabalaga: Several teams interested in case Athletic decides to loan him out.
 

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hey gang!

just checking to let you know i haven't forgotten you guys!

 
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