It was a quiet transfer window for the current Premier League leaders, Manchester City, with only one incoming. However, it was an exciting one as City were able to complete the transfer for Argentinian striker Julian Alvarez for a fee of £14 million from Argentinian side River Plate. As part of the deal, Alvarez has been loaned back to River Plate until the end of the season.
Who is Julian Alvarez?
Julian Alvarez is a 22-year-old forward who can play across the front line, but his best position is playing through the middle as a central striker. Alvarez had a breakout season last year for River Plate, scoring 20 goals in just 35 appearances, helping fire River to the Argentinian championship. Alvarez’s exploits quickly put him on the radar of a host of European clubs, with clubs from England, Spain and Italy all monitoring his progress. However, it was City who acted first and, through their swift dealings, have captured one of the most promising young forwards in world football.
Naturally, the capture of Alvarez has led many to believe that he could be the long-term replacement for fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero. However, Man City and Pep
Guardiola are unlikely to see it that way.
Despite having played senior league football since he was 18, it’s likely that Guardiola will break Alvarez in gently as it will take him time to get used to the physicality of the Premier League. Alvarez has been capped five times by Argentina and is yet to find the back of the net, so comparisons to Aguero might be a little premature. The fact that Alvarez is in an Argentinian squad that contains attacking talent such as Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria and Lautoro Martinez is a testament to how highly he is regarded.
What does Alvarez’s signing mean for the future?
Despite City’s domestic dominance, question marks still remain over their striking options, with Gabriel Jesus still the only recognised striker in Guardiola’s first team. City were frustrated last summer by Tottenham’s refusal to enter into transfer conversations with Harry Kane. This summer looks set to be a different story, with both Kylian Mpabbé and Erling Haaland potentially both on the move. City, due to their financial power, will undoubtedly be linked with both. With Mpabbé rumoured to be interested in Real Madrid, it could be that Haaland is the one who is heavily linked with a move to City. It remains to be seen whether Alvarez’s arrival has any impact in City pursuing a move for the Norwegian hitman or whether they will look to revisit previous transfer targets such as Harry Kane.
What is certain is that City have signed one of the most promising young players in recent seasons. City have dominated the Premier League in recent times and look set to win a third title in four years. Alvarez’s arrival will provide even more depth to a side that will look to dominate both domestically and in Europe once again.
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