Long-term Manchester United target finally scores first goal of the season

Man United V Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao forward Iker Muniain has been a transfer target for Manchester United for over a year now. This season however has not been his best although he finally found the back of the net this weekend.

In 2012 one name that was consistently mentioned as a potential transfer target for Manchester United was Athletic Bilbao forward Iker Muniain.

The teenager had obviously caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson and I think we all know when that occurred. When Bilbao tore into Manchester United in last season’s Europa League the 20-year-old was immediately linked as a potential Fergie target. A player once dubbed the ‘Spanish Messi’ was never going to be passed up on.

It was around that same time that he made his international debut for Spain; replacing Cesc Fabregas in the 74th minute of a 5-0 win against Venezuela.

A player on the up it seemed.

However with Bilbao’s problems this season has come an almost adjacent dip in the performance level of their young starlet. Muniain has struggled to reach the level of performance that he exhibited in his last campaign and with Fernando Llorente wanting away and Javi Martinez gone the Basque side were left relying heavily on the youngster to ill effect.

But finally, after 28 games this season, Muniain has managed to grab his first goal for the club this term against Champions League chasing Valencia on Sunday.

Loitering at the back post after drifting in from the left-hand side a driven cross pin balled its way through a maze of players before bouncing kindly at the right foot of Muniain; who with all his might smashed home a half-volley into the top corner of the goal.

Not only has he therefore grabbed a goal but an extremely important one as it helps his side claw back an eight point gap from the relegation zone and into 14th place in La Liga.

Whether his poor season will cost him any notion of a move to Manchester United remains to be seen but if he can find his form once again after this spurring victory he might just be able to guide Bilbao back into the top-half of the table before the end of the season.

You can see him in action below...

image: © Jack Tanner

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