The whole Kepa episode has got out of hand

It turns out that a couple of days ago, Kepa Arrizabalaga passed a medical revision in Madrid. When [Athletic Club coach José Ángel] Ziganda was asked about it yesterday, he replied he knew nothing about it. I think Real Madrid are doing something wrong here and they ought to put it right. The sooner his transfer is announced the better because the poor lad’s situation is going to become unsustainable. He didn’t even take part in the open training session in front of the fans with the rest of his team mates. For several weeks now, Athletic fans have been hearing that Kepa’s move is imminent but as it stands, nothing has been confirmed. The Christmas holidays are now over, LaLiga is about to resume and Athletic play host to Alavés tomorrow while Kepa’s future is still up in the air. It would be nice to know if the transfer is definitely on and when it will happen.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Others affected by deadlock in Kepa's future

One of the reason behind the mystery could be Zidane who, before Thursday’s Cup game in Soria insisted that he was not in favour of any players leaving or coming in during the January window and defended his squad down to the last man. But things have gone too far and now it’s starting to affect too many other people: Keylor Navas, for instance, can see that they’ve named his successor; Kiko Casilla, who Deportivo would like to sign; another Athletic keeper Álex Remiro, who is out on loan at Huesca and who they will need to bring back if Kepa leaves this month. And Unai Simón, Athletic’s reserve team keeper and a Spanish Under-21 international, who doesn’t know if he will have to step up and join the first team squad. And not forgetting Iago Herrerín of course, Athletic’s current second choice keeper...

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Painful to see home-grown players leave

It’s good to have respect in football. Respect between clubs, respect for the fans and respect for the players. There are always going to be upsets of course. For Athletic, it’s always tough when their best players are lured away by Europe’s top clubs – in the past we have seen Javi Martínez, Fernando Llorente leave Bilbao and now Kepa... the latter case is particularly painful because he entered the club’s youth academy when he was only 10 years old, and since then Athletic have nurtured him, brought him out through the ranks, perfected his game in the reserve team and with subsequent loans spells at Ponferradina and Valladolid. Only to be served a new reality – he’s leaving. Maybe it’s inevitable that he’s moving on, but at least they could spare us the agony...