Inaki Williams Signs 9-Year Athletic Contract Amid Manchester United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 18: Inaki Williams of Athletic Club looks on during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Athletic Club at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 18, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Athletic Club forward Inaki Williams has signed a new nine-year contract with the club, it was confirmed on Monday.

The La Liga side announced the news on Twitter, with Williams now tied down at the San Mames until 2028:

Per Sky Sports, the 25-year-old was recently linked with a move to Manchester United, although he's made an emphatic show of commitment to his current employers.

"Hopefully great things can come because what I want to make this club bigger, if possible," he said upon agreeing the extension, per BBC Sport. "This, as you can see, is my house, and all I want, I have it here. The club has always bet on me—it has given me everything. I feel it is my home."

Spanish football journalist David Cartlidge noted that Williams' release clause in Bilbao has been boosted as part of the deal, in light of recent speculation:

Williams has established himself as a key player for the Basque outfit in recent years. Bet365 tracked his rise from academy prospect to his current position:

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Although there are still raw parts to his game, when he's in form the Spain international is one of the most devastating attackers in La Liga.

Williams can play across the front line, providing penetration from wide areas or offering a threat in behind the opposition defence when used through the middle. Last season, he added more of a goal threat to his game, netting 13 times in 38 La Liga appearances.

The standout performance from 2018-19 came against Sevilla, when he scored a couple of outstanding goals in front of his come crowd: noted how much of a threat Williams can be when Athletic are in transition:

The news will be a major boost for Athletic supporters ahead of the new season. There were signs last term that their No. 9 was ready to deliver on his potential, and this deal means he can focus on his football in Bilbao for the foreseeable future.

Manager Gaizka Garitano will be hopeful his side can challenge for a European place in La Liga this season. The coach steadied the ship after coming in midway through the 2018-19 term, helping Athletic finish eighth after a challenging start.