Bielsa: Athletic lose fantastic player

Marcelo Bielsa has reflected that Athletic Bilbao have lost ‘the contribution of a fantastic player’ in Javi Martinez’ departure to Bayern Munich.

The midfielder, who was used regularly last term by Bielsa at centre-back, today completed a €40m switch to the German side, ending a month-long transfer saga.

“Athletic lose the contribution of a fantastic player, that is the result,” the Coach told today’s Press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with HJK Helsinki.

“However, he virtually played no games in pre-season and the team was constructed without him.

“The reality is that the decision is one that everyone knows. It is so and only time will tell how it affects him and us.”

The Coach was less than enthusiastic about taking Thursday’s match against Helsinki – a team they beat 6-0 last week in the first leg of their qualifying match – as an opportunity to put aside Martinez’ departure and the poor start to the League campaign.

“A good performance does not improve anything, but a bad performance would worsen the situation we are in.”

Tags Bielsa Javi Martinez