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Espanyol linked with out of favour Athletic Club defender

Espanyol linked with out of favour Athletic Club defender

Having failed to make an impression at Athletic Club last term, full back Mikel Balenziaga’s exit looms with Espanyol looking the most likely destination.

Despite last season’s 24 appearances, the former U21 Spain international seems to be surplus to coach Eduardo Berizzo’s requirements, and with the arrival of fellow left back Yuri Berchiche, his days are looking numbered.

The 30-year-old is contracted at the San Mames Stadium until 2019 and Berizzo will want to cash in before his current deal expires.

Good things come to those who wait

Balenziaga will remain in Los Leones fans’ memories for his strike against Sevilla back in 2016 which marked his first goal in just over 300 career appearances.

However, withstanding his deficiencies in front of goal, the Spaniard is an advanced full back who is more than capable of stabilising the leakiest of defences.

It was only up until last season when the defender started to feature less having been an ever-present name since his arrival in 2013.

Depth is key

He has attracted attention from fellow LaLiga outfits including his former side Real Valladolid, and with the departure of full back Marc Navarro to Watford, coach Rubi will be looking to add depth to his back line.

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Add the fact that current Espanyol full back Aaron Martin’s future is still up in the air, Balenziaga could act as his potential replacement.

Should Balenziaga express his wishes to leave, expect Espanyol to be the first club to swoop in.