Athletic Bilbao have had an excellent season so far ending their long wait for a trophy with the Spanish Super Cup and are also riding high in La Liga. Integral to their success has been the talented 21 year old Iñaki Williams, the latest in a long line of successful academy graduates at the Basque club.
He has come a long way in a short time having only made his debut for the first-team in December of last season. Williams announced his arrival with his first goal in the 2-2 draw against Torino in the Europa League a few months later and in doing so created a bit of history by becoming the first black player to score a senior goal for Athletic Bilbao, who continue to persist with their Basque-only policy.
Born and bred in Bilbao, and impressing at the club
Iñaki Williams, who was born and bred in Bilbao played a starring role in the 1-0 victory over Real Madrid last term and has gone from strength to strength this season and has become a firm fan favourite.
He has netted seven goals in 14 starts this term which is impressive when you consider he missed the first month of the season due to injury and has tended to be featured in a wide role rather than as the central striker.
His pace and energy is the perfect complement to the experience and aerial threat of Artitz Aduriz, who at 34 is having another outstanding campaign and is certainly benefiting from the work that Williams puts in.
Athletic have won 11 of their last 15 matches and are shooting up the table and potentially into Champions League qualification contention. They have some exciting young players and are really starting to blossom into a strong side and at 21 Williams is perhaps the one who could really go on to great things.
Still raw, but an international call-up might not be far off
He is still a raw talent and has plenty to learn, but with Spain a little light in the forward department he could even be a contender for an international call-up at some stage in 2016.
The European Championships may come too soon for him, but his pace and trickery would offer the national side something a bit different to what they currently have and if he continues to impress he could forge himself into the thoughts of Vicente del Bosque.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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