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Winner dictates the rhythm of Athletic


Unai Vencedor, during the match against Betis. AFP7 via Europa Press (Europa Press)

Although his last name sounds like greatness, like fanfare, Unai Vencedor ( Bilbao, 21 years old) opened a gap in Athletic with discretion. Little by little, without making noise, the midfielder who was formed in Santutxu, a historic team from one of the popular neighborhoods of the capital of Biscay, has become essential in Marcelino García's line-ups after having made his debut in the First Division at the orders of Gaizka Garitano. The current debate in the rojiblanco midfield is not who will form it, but who will accompany Vencedor in the line-up.

He has played all the LaLiga games, except against Cádiz – in which Athletic lost – and has started in all those that he played except in one, against Rayo Vallecano, who also lost the rojiblanco team.

When Marcelino arrived at Athletic he found himself faced with the dilemma of looking for the ideal partner for the midfield. Winner entered the rotation that the Asturian coach made with all the men from the medullary, who starred in a casting live in full championship. In the end, Unai was one of those who most convinced the Asturian coach, and with the new season he gave him a leading role.

Dani García, with a more defensive cut, is usually his usual dance partner, and Marcelino resists giving a more offensive air to his mid-centers to avoid imbalances. Mikel Vesga appeared in front of Betis, but with the scoreboard against him, the coach changed plans and put Oier Zarraga on the field alongside Vencedor. Atletico football unleashed the game with two cheerful midfielders and pushed Pellegrini's team into their area. With an omnipresent winner in the pass, the cut and the balance, and the freshness of Zarraga, Athletic took a step forward that allowed them to come back and win the match. It was a decision fueled by the circumstances, although Marcelino does not like the whirlwind and risk: “It may be an option to see them together. If the scenario that we see is adequate, it will happen, but now, few teams play with two midfielders aged 20 and 22 ”, he assured.

“It's easy to say, 'put the boy young.' But when he doesn't play well, unfortunately, x games, then what … Then it doesn't work anymore? Should we put another? Coaches must assess the processes so that this does not happen ”, he says. With Vencedor's partner he has a dilemma; with Winner, none.

Possibly, against Real Madrid he will play alongside Dani García, who against Betis He completed the card cycle, in an Athletic that to the casualties due to the covid of Unai Simón and Iñigo Martínez added another two: Berenguer and Ezkieta have also tested positive, so the goalkeepers of the call will be Agirrezabala – who will play his fourth league game – and Padilla, both from the subsidiary.

Winner, who made the jump from youth to Bilbao Athletic without passing by Basconia, which is the usual path for youth players, he trained in Mallona, ​​at the foot of the Begoña Basilica, and there he began to stand out in the cadet team. Betis was interested in his signing, but Mitxelo, the president of the Bilbao club, and father of Ibai Gómez, notified Athletic of the interest of the Sevillian team. In Lezama they reacted and took over his services. Ibai, who combined the Athletic first team with the Santutxu youth leadership, had called him on several occasions to form his superior team. On March 7, both coincided in Marcelino's lineup against Granada in San Mamés. Now, with the teacher without a team, the advantageous student dictates the rhythm of Athletic.

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