Matic goal

Thursday was a good day for Athletic Club Bilbao’s 23-year-old goalkeeper Unai Simon.

Not only was it the second anniversary of his debut for the club, but Simon also received his first call up to the Spanish national team from coach Luis Enrique, as well as signing a new contract which will keep him at Athletic Club until the end of June 2025.

Simon will battle it out with David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga (the man he replaced in the Athletic goal) for a place in the Spain side to play Germany and Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League.

He was one of several new faces, included Barca’s 18-year-old striker Ansu Fati and Real Sociedad midfielder, Mikel Merino to be named in a rejuvenated Spain squad.

Just hours after being named in the national team squad, Athletic confirmed that Simon, who conceded just 29 goals in 33 league appearances last season, had agreed with a new contract to keep him at the club for another five years.

The new deal includes one important change from his previous contract dispensing with his 50 million euro release clause, meaning that no club can now buy the keeper by simply paying the buyout clause (as Chelsea did with Kepa) and would have to negotiate a fee with Athletic. Enditem

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