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Athletic Club Bilbao target Kike Sola summer signing

by heathGCF | Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2013

Seen as a possible replacement for Fernando Llorente, Osasuna striker Kike Sola has been linked with a move to Bilbao this summer.

Kike Sola Osasuna 2-1 DeportivoWith their policy of signing only players of Basque origin, the transfer market is always somewhat restrictive for Athletic Club Bilbao.

The destination finally having been confirmed as Juventus, for the protracted exit of Fernando Llorente, the Basque club are now looking at potential replacements and perhaps interestingly, one who they let slip through their hands a number of years ago.

Soon to be 27, Osasuna striker Kike Sola began his career at Athletic Club Bilbao, spending his formative years in their youth system. Unable to make the grade with the club at the time though, he moved to fourth-tier minnows CD Aluvión, before being picked up by Osasuna.

Interestingly however, Kike Sola hasn’t been the most regular of starters until this season for Osasuna. Upon joining the club, he struggled to cement a solid place in the starting eleven after two seasons in the B team. During the 2009-2010 season, he had spells on loan with Liga Adelante side Numancia, followed by a spell in Greece with Levadiakos, but only managed two goals in a total of seventeen appearances.

At the start of the 2010-2011 season, Sola was fourth choice in the pecking order of strikers, but a good spell of form and goals in the second-half of the season, helped Osasuna climb away from the relegation zone. Just as things were beginning to look up however, during the 2011-2012 season Sola was plagued with injuries and only managed seven appearances and one goal.

This season however, Sola has returned to full fitness and powered his way back into contention and has earned himself a key role in the plans of manager José Luis Mendilibar. With a return of six goals in twenty appearances, he’s hardly been prolific, but he’s scored vital goals in crucial matches for the Osasuna.

His Basque background and aerial ability now seemingly fits the bill of what Athletic Club Bilbao require, as they look to fill the boots of Fernando Llorente. With no suitable alternatives that match these requirements currently progressing through their own youth system, the Bilbao club have been forced to look externally, as they try to find a striker who can compete either against, or alongside, Aritz Aduriz.

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