Enric Saborit has had a long climb to get to where he is today. After rising through Lezama he eventually made the first team under Ernesto Valverde a few years ago. However, he was sent back down to Bilbao Athletic the following year after Cuco Ziganda led the Cachorros to the Segunda. After being relegated back down to Segunda B, Saborit was brought back up to the first team last season. With his contract running out in June, many expected the 25-year-old to leave the club this summer, but that won’t happen.
On Thursday, Athletic officially announced that they had extended Saborit’s contract for an extra year, which was a clause that had been put into his deal. The defender is now tied to the club through the upcoming season.
Saborit has not had a regular role in the team, but instead has been seen as a depth player. It is no secret that the Lions want to upgrade the left-back position, but Ziganda wants to keep Saborit in the team just in case they aren’t able to bring in anyone new. If Athletic does sign a new left-back, Saborit would then likely be sent on loan to complete his contract. There was also a chance that Urtzi Iriondo or Andoni Lopez could be promoted to the first team, but sources say the club doesn’t believe they are ready for the jump.
Athletic had been targeting Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal, but with Arsene Wenger staying at the club it makes things much harder. Additionally, the club has been in negotiations with Osasuna for Alex Berenguer who can play left-back, but is much more suited for an attacking role. Unless something changes, Saborit will remain in Ziganda’s squad in a backup role and the new manager is very familiar with him from their time together at Bilbao Athletic.