The Nàstic de Agné recovers two assets
“We have recovered players for the cause.” Raül Agné's tone in the press conference after the match in Lezama was sincere. His words were pure truth and he was happy within the tie because he had managed to see the best version of the season of two players who were barely having a leading role. Andy Escudero and Nil Jiménez had started the campaign in the starting eleven, but in recent weeks they weren't even coming off the bench.
Football always gives an opportunity. Both were aware of this and that is why they continued to work waiting for their moment. It came to Escudero against Bilbao Athletic from the starting eleven. The footballer from Alicante was returning to a position that he had not enjoyed since matchday four in Calahorra.
His entry into the eleven was motivated by the absence of Aarón Rey due to injury. Agné decided to swap Marc Álvarez to the left wing and give Escudero the right winger. Robert Simón and Maurizio Pochettino, two wingers to play on the natural wing, were ruled out in a surprising move, but with tactical weight. What Escudero offers, a winger with associative capacity and who generates superiority through the center, is not the same as what is generated by two wing specialists who provide more depth and open up the field more.
The truth is that the version of Escudero that was seen during the first part was the expected one. He got the determination out of him that he paid for a transfer to Alcoyano and that he still hadn't been able to enjoy himself as a grana. Until now, a player had been lacking in confidence and involved in a dangerous irregularity. In Lezama everything changed because from the first moment he was seen as connected. He had a presence in the offensive phase. He repeatedly asked for the ball in juicy positions and gave continuity to the game. Easy game, but good and that helped Nàstic to have fluidity.
Beyond that ability to interpret and execute the game, Escudero also arrived in the area and Nàstic needs that from their wingers. He lacked evil, yes, but he showed that he is a talented footballer to create chances. Two provoked against Bilbao Athletic. One with a shot from the edge of the box that went high and another in a shot to a center by Joan Oriol that he couldn't give force to.
With such a high rhythm in the game and after many games without having so much continuity in the game, Escudero ended up being substituted in a grayer second half in which he was also more affected by the collective game. However, the first part of him in Lezama was an act of rebellion. He wants more minutes and showing that level there is no doubt that Raül Agné is going to give it to him.
The other footballer who also took advantage of his opportunity in Bilbao was Nil Jiménez. The winger went on to play a position in which he ended up starting last year. Agné placed him on the far left in front of Joan Oriol and took Marc Álvarez off the pitch. The change was intended to place a double back that suffered less in defense and offered more depth and reaching the baseline in attack.
Nil Jiménez offered a polished and daring version in his game. He had started the course as a starter on the side taking advantage of Joan Oriol's injury, but he was not convincing in that role and when the Cambrilense returned, one of the best full-backs in the category, he went to the bench. In Lezama he showed that he is a serious alternative to the left flank as a winger. A different profile that offers to open the field and reach the bottom line as well as defensive work. He fulfilled a note and now opens a variant for different match contexts that seemed lost in the trunk of memories.
Escudero and Nil took a step forward in Lezama. They claimed minutes in the best way that can be done and it is none other than from the green. Agné took note and publicly encouraged them. Her words in the press room do not usually fall into a void. Both have moved ahead of the pack in the rotation. They aim to have more minutes. Perhaps the Cup opens the doors of the starting eleven, one repeating and the other returning.