Sola: I’m not Llorente’s replacement

Kike Sola says he is not Fernando Llorente’s replacement at Athletic Bilbao, nor is he Aritz Aduriz’s direct rival for the main striker role.

Spanish international Llorente switched to Juventus in a high-profile move this summer, while Sola was snapped up from Osasuna for a reported €4m, and the Navarre-born player revealed he is delighted to return to the club he played for as a youth between the ages of 12 and 17.

“I’ve not come here to cover Llorente’s position but to be back at Bilbao is a giant step for me,” he admitted in an interview with AS.

“I’m excited to be here and the reception has been fantastic. It’s very nice to get reacquainted with people I knew before and when they come up to greet me it is very satisfying.

“This year I’ll be striving to get a regular starting spot, although I don’t feel it is a straight fight between Aritz and me for the No 9 jersey. We get on really well and I think we can play together.

“It’s going to be a long season and there will be minutes for everyone.”

At the same time, Sola said he wished to distance himself from remarks made by Osasuna President Miguel Archanco, in which he referred to the 27-year-old as the ‘King of Mambo’ and alleged he had engineered a move away from El Sadar.

“I was always taught that things should be said to your face. It bothered me, but with his statements Osasuna were the ones that took the first steps towards selling me.”

Tags Aduriz Fernando Llorente Kike Sola