It feels like Iker Undabarrena has been around forever. After joining Lezama back in 2005, the defensive midfielder has worked his way through the youth levels and showed immense potential all along the way. In 2013 he made the jump to Bilbao Athletic where he is still competing. The 22-year-old is far too talented to be playing in the Segunda B, but he has a ton of competition in the first team and right now there just isn’t a path. That being said, his course for next season has been decided.
According to a report from El Desmarque Bizkaia, Cuco Ziganda has requested for Iker Undabarrena to be loaned to a club in the Segunda next season so that he can continue testing himself against stronger competition and fight for a place in the first team.
Fans can easily forget that Undabarrena was supposed to be promoted to the first team last summer. Sadly, he suffered a serious ACL injury which saw Mikel Vesga make the jump instead. This year the midfielder returned in the middle of the season and picked up right where he left off. Still, he needs regular minutes and to play against better opponents so a loan to the Segunda makes a lot of sense. This will give him the chance to prove himself and start carving out his own path.
Luckily for Undabarrena, Cuco Ziganda has always been his biggest fan. The new Athletic manager has said on more than one occasion that the 22-year-old was always the most important player on the pitch for Bilbao Athletic and he believes that he could one day have a role in the first team. For now Undabarrena needs to show that same quality that he had before the ACL injury and maybe next year he could be spending the summer under Ziganda.