Mikel Vesga has worked hard to win his place at Athletic Club and whether he is deployed in the holding midfield role or slightly further forward, he has been an undisputed first choice for José Ángel Ziganda since the season started. It was because of his performabnces that the Bilbaínos didn't go ahead with the operation to sign Newcastle's Mikel Merino and now Athletic have renewed his contract, extending it by two years to 2021. Vesga's buy-out has been left untouched at 30 million euros.
Vesga, on target against Real Madrid in Gijón
The Vitoria-born player along with attacking midfielder Ander Alday was recruited from Alavés reserve team in 2014. Vesga spent half of last season on loan at Sporting de Gijón - and scored his debut top flight goal against Real Madrid in April of this year.
Vesga's best performance so far however came in the 1-0 win over Sevilla in Week 8. He flourished after being given a free-roaming role in Ziganda's 4-1-4-1 set-up, scoring the game's only goal.
Ziganda is delighted with the 24-year-old, saying: “He has to score five or six goals per season, he's got all the qualities he needs to get into goal-scoring positions and he's playing at a better level now since he's been switched from the pivot position. He's versatile and that's a point in his favour”.