Inaki Williams: Former Barcelona Coach Laments Over Absence of Striker Ahead of AFCON 2023

Inaki Williams: Former Barcelona Coach Laments Over Absence of Striker Ahead of AFCON 2023

Lukman Mumuni
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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  • Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde has opened up on Inaki Williams' absence
  • The Ghana international will be away for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in January
  • Williams has been in fine form for Athletic Bilbao in La Liga this season

Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde is looking for options ahead of the departure of red-hot striker Inaki Williams for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Williams will join the Black Stars in January for his first Nations Cup at the tournament in Ivory Coast.

The Spain-born forward has been Athletic Bilbao's main man this season, scoring six league goals, including the equalizer against Girona on Monday night.

Inaki Williams, Ghana, Athletic Club, AFCON
Inaki Williams celebrating his goal against Girona in La Liga on Monday. Credit: @AthleticClub
Source: Twitter

For Valverde, the strikers absence will be a massive blow for the club.

“Inaki is always in a good place. By the time he goes to the AFCON, we will start by being sharp, but at the moment, we will go through at least December without any problems. We will lament his absence, but we will see how things will turn out," he said after the draw at Girona, as quoted by Citi Sports.

Williams scored his first goal for the Black Stars in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Madagascar during the November international break.

The 29-year-old is expected to play a key role for the Black Stars at AFCON 2023.

Williams' strike rescues point for Athletic Club

Inaki Williams scored a left-foot belter to salvage a point for Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga clash against leaders Girona.

The host opened the scoring ten minutes after the break through Viktor Tsyhankov following an early second-half dominance.

However, Williams brilliantly beat two players after pouncing on an Oihan Sancet pass before smashing it home in the 67th minute, as reported by Ghana Soccernet.

He was later replaced by Malcom Abdulai Ares Djalo as the Rojiblancos shared the spoils at Montilivi.

Inaki Williams scores debut Ghana goal

Sports Brief earlier reported that Inaki Williams' debut goal clinched Ghana a hard-fought victory against Madagascar to get off to a winning start in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Athletic Club forward rose high to head home from a lovely cross from Gideon Mensah in the final minute of the game in Kumasi.

The visitors started the better of the two sides, getting two corner kicks in the first five minutes, but failed to take advantage of the set pieces.

Lukman Mumuni photo
Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.