With Athletic Club having not made a single transfer signing over the last two years, the team has barely changed. Of course there have been loan moves and youth stars promoted, but the bulk of the squad has remained largely intact. There has been interest in the likes of Aymeric Laporte and Iñaki Williams from other large European clubs, but the Lions have done well to hold on to their most talented players. That being said, new information has surfaced that has revealed one player almost made his exit a few months ago.
According to a new report from Javier Ortiz De Lazcano of El Correo, Eneko Bóveda asked to leave Athletic Club over the summer. The defender is said to have had offers to join two different clubs and wanted to accept because he knew that he would not get major playing time at Athletic this season. In the end, Kuko Ziganda told him that they were not going to let him leave and the 28-year-old understood and accepted the decision.
This summer it became clear to Bóveda that his minutes would be few. He currently sits third in line at right-back behind Oscar De Marcos and Iñigo Lekue, and Ziganda doesn’t seem to like the idea of him playing as a center-back like Ernesto Valverde did. So far he has only featured in one game, starting and playing the full 90 minutes against Eibar in the last game before the international break began. After that game Bóveda did say that he is happy with Ziganda’s rotational policy because everyone is getting a chance to play.
The defender is currently playing in the last year of his contract with Athletic Club and his future is certainly in question. With Ander Capa joining the team next summer, Bóveda could be the odd man out and might not feature in Ziganda’s plans moving forward. If he does not sign a new contract he will be free to negotiate with other clubs starting in January. For now Eneko Bóveda is an Athletic player and Ziganda kept the player in the team to play a specific role, but beyond this year there is a lot of uncertainty.