Cast your mind back to last summer, which feels around ten years ago admittedly, and you’ll remember plenty of stories about Manchester City and Mikel Oyarzabal.
With it looking like Leroy Sané would head to Bayern Munich in a huge transfer, City needed to find a replacement and numerous reports from Spain indicated that the Real Sociedad star was their chosen man.
For much of the summer, it was stated, confidently, that they could pay his €75m release clause comfortably and that was causing plenty of concern.
As you’ll know, nothing happened, with Sané injured in the Community Shield and missing the campaign leading to the move to Bayern not happening until this year.
That saw Oyarzabal stay in Spain and even hit out at the rumours, insisting he was happy at his current club and not interested in a potential move to Manchester City anyway.
That didn’t stop the rumours, although City eventually signing Ferran Torres to replace Sané means it’s unlikely that the move will ever happen.
And that’s perfectly fine for Oyarzabal, who, as AS explain today, is now ‘on his way to becoming a true legend’ at Real Sociedad.
They explain that at 23-years-old he’s already made 203 appearances for the club, matching Asier Illarramendi in that regard, becoming the player with the most appearances in the current first-team.
What’s more, he only has 18 games left to make the top 50 in terms of appearances for the club, which is impressive given he’s only been a professional for five seasons.
The records, though, ‘do not stop there’ as his ‘progression and growth’ have been ‘meteoric’ since he made his debut.
For example, his two goals against Huesca on Sunday means that he has already scored 54 goals for the club, more than Antoine Griezmann, and is well ‘on the way’ to entering the history books as two more goals would put him among the club’s top 25 goalscorers.
All of these records, AS say, confirm that Oyarzabal ‘has started the season like a motorcycle’ and is one of La Liga’s ‘fashionable’ players.
Indeed, he’s turned into the ‘leader’ of this current side and is very much their ‘franchise footballer’ at this moment in time, justifying his decision to ignore attempts by Athletic Bilbao and Manchester City to sign him.
On that front, there are currently no regrets and while the ‘greats of Europe’ still have him on their agenda, not going to the Etihad is one he won’t be looking back on wistfully.