Over the weekend it was announced that striker Asier Villalibre had joined Real Valladolid on loan for the 2017-2018 season. The 19-year-old made his first team debut with Athletic last season but it was clear that he was not going to get many minutes this year and needed to leave on loan to continue developing. On Monday the Lezama product was presented as the newest Real Valladolid player and spoke to the media about his excitement regarding the move. He went on to say that he has already spoken to other Athletic players who spent time at Valladolid, especially Markel Etxeberria who is a close friend.
“The first thing I want to do is thank Real Valladolid for the opportunity they have given me. I am very excited. Right now I am only thinking about training, joining the team, meeting the players and the staff, and hopefully playing in the match on Saturday. I have already spoken with Kepa, Mikel [Balenziaga] and, above all, Markel [Etxeberria] who is a very close friend. They all spoke very highly of the club and are happy for me getting this chance.”
Villalibre went on to say that Real Valladolid is a storied club and one that will challenge for promotion in the Segunda. He says that he is ready to play immediately, but knows that the decision will be made by the manager.
“Real Valladolid is a great club with a lot of history. They are one of the best clubs in the Segunda and I come with a great desire to start playing. I’m very excited. Physically I am doing well and ready to play, but that decision is for the manager. I’ve watched the team play already. They are a good team and I think they deserved more from their opening loss. Now I want to help the club to the fullest of my ability.”
In closing, the 19-year-old was again asked about his thoughts on one day replacing Aritz Aduriz. Villalibre said that it is way to early to start thinking about that and that there is only one Aduriz. For now he is solely focused on giving his best to Real Valladolid.
“I do not think of myself as being an heir to Aduriz, it isn’t the time for that. It is difficult to compare us because there is only one Aduriz. Spending the preseason with the Athletic first team was very exciting and a dream come true. I improved a lot. This season I am going to give my all for Real Valladolid.”
Real Valladolid will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to take on Sevilla Atlético in Segunda league play. It is still way too early to know whether or not Asier Villalibre will take part in the game but it is clear that he is ready to get back on the pitch. This loan spell will be vital to the striker making a case for the first team next season so fans should keep a close eye on the 19-year-old while he is away from home.