Sky is the limit for Athletic Bilbao winger Inaki Williams
Athletic Bilbao have one of the world's most extreme transfer policies, since they only sign players who have some sort of link with the Basque country. But one of their best players could leave soon, as Inaki Williams has enough potential to play regularly in some of the world's best teams.
If we take a look at Athletic Bilbao's squad for the 2017/18 season, we will see there is a lot of talent in all areas of the pitch. Aymeric Laporte leads the defensive line. Veterans Raul Garcia and Beñat Exteberria control the midfield. And if that was not enough, the talented duo of Aritz Aduriz and Iker Muniain create havoc on opposing defences.
However, none of the aforementioned players could be considered the team's best player. In fact, only Muniain could get close to having that distinction, as the best player on Athletic's squad is none other than Inaki Williams. But who is this player who's already valued at €25 million by Transfermarkt and has taken Europe by storm this past two years?
Versatile, Competent Forward
The 23-year-old attacker offers versatility to play several roles in the attacking third. He can play as a second forward but also thrives as a winger. And while Athletic play him on both flanks, he is better suited to move on the right flank. Williams forms an impressive attacking unit alongside Muniain and Aduriz. But even though the latter two get most of the press - Aduriz is the one who scores and Muniain has been linked with a move to the Premier League for quite a while now - there is little doubt Williams is the better player of the three.
Fans only need a few minutes to note Williams' presence on the pitch. He can be a difference maker thanks to his pace in the final third, but also possesses an accurate first touch and a good passing range. His finishing still needs some work, but he is improving in that department. The numbers back that last statement, as the talented winger is coming off an impressive season thanks to 8 goals and 8 assists in 49 contests. He already has four assists in six games across all competitions in the current campaign, so he picked up right where he left off last term.
His best season so far came in the 2015-16 campaign, where he finished with 13 goals and 6 assists in 37 matches.
Spain's New Up-And-Coming Star?
That breakout season allowed him to debut with the Spain national team last year, but he should become a regular sooner than later. He is part of the new generation of Spanish players that want to put La Furia Roja back on top of the world like they were five years ago. And fans have every right to dream about an attacking line featuring Isco, Marco Asensio, Williams and Alvaro Morata. Few defences in the world could find a way to stop those four at the same time.
No one knows what will be Williams' next step in his career. However, he is becoming "too good" to remain at Bilbao, and even though he is not likely to join another team in Spain, he could thrive in the Bundesliga or the English Premier League. He can assist, score, and create havoc with his pace and skill. And if we consider he is only 23 years old, it seems the sky is the limit for Inaki Williams.