May 22th 2024 | 3:17

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Aymeric Laporte to Athletic as fourth center back

Maria Jose Gonzalez

April 17, 2024 | 10:45 a.m.

El Athletic Club Bilbao is preparing its team to compete in the Europa League next season and one of its key moves could be the return of Aymeric Laporte, current Al-Nassr player in Saudi Arabia. After a year in the Gulf, Laporte's desire to return to Europe and, specifically, to Athletic, seems to be an increasingly real possibility.

Laporte situation

Laporte, who already played for Athletic before his transfer to Manchester City, and then to Saudi Arabia, has expressed not being completely happy with his life in the Middle East, due to cultural and lifestyle differences. Despite having a contract for two more years with Al-Nassr, the center-back is willing to return to Bilbao, making a great financial effort and thus resume his career where it all began as a professional footballer.

Iñaki Williams was already a teammate of Laporte. (c) Photo: BilbaoHiria

Athletic's needs

Athletic currently has three center backs: Paredes, Vivian, and Yeray. However, given the load of matches involved in competing in four tournaments, the club seeks to reinforce this position with a high-level player like Laporte. This would be a priority incorporation for the club's sports management, providing experience and quality to Ernesto Valverde's team.

Internal competition in Athletic

Although Vivian and Paredes have formed a solid defensive partnership, the arrival of Laporte could lead to changes in the starting lineup. Yeray, who is currently a reliable option for Valverde, could be relegated to a more secondary role as a fourth centre-back.

Impact on the workforce

Laporte's return would not only strengthen Athletic's defense in terms of quality and experience, but would also add depth to the team to face multiple competitions simultaneously. Furthermore, his international experience is an asset that could benefit the rest of the team, especially the younger players.

Market movements

The summer market promises to be intense for Athletic, with possible departures of key players and the arrival of significant reinforcements such as Laporte. The management of these movements will be crucial for the club's aspirations to have a good campaign both in LaLiga and in Europe.

Laporte's possible return to Athletic is shaping up to be an important strategic move that could have a considerable impact on the team's structure and aspirations for next season. The development of this situation will be an issue to follow closely as the transfer market approaches.

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